Argentina, which has already qualified for Qatar 2022, hosts a desperate Colombia side that needs results in short order. The Argentines are without Lionel Messi for this round of qualifiers but they’re still dangerous.
Just look at the soccer odds for proof. Despite this being a glorified friendly for them, Argentina is still -110 favorites at home.
Game: Argentina vs Colombia
Location: Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Córdoba, Argentina
Date/Time: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET
Argentina vs Colombia Betting Preview
Head to Head
Argentina defeated Colombia in a highly entertaining penalty shootout in the Copa America semifinals last June in which goalkeeper Emi Martinez was the hero.
Three of the last four meetings have finished in regulation draws and Argentina hasn’t defeated Colombia in 90 minutes since 2016.
Argentina not Taking Foot Off Gas
With Argentina clinching World Cup qualification following a 0-0 draw with Brazil in November, these are more tuneup games than anything else. That doesn’t mean that Argentina doesn’t have much for which to play.
Since Lionel Scaloni took over as head coach, Argentina has been one of the best international soccer picks. With their recent 2-1 win over Chile, they extended their unbeaten streak to 28 games and haven’t lost a match in over two years.
Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez found the net in the first half vs Chile and the duo are the two most dangerous players for La Albiceleste with Messi out. Messi tested positive for COVID-19 late last year and has recovered. However, with Argentina’s relationship with PSG strained, it was seen as better for him to remain in Paris.
Messi himself remarked at one point that it was difficult for him to play with Paulo Dybala, who typically gets rare opportunities. The Juventus forward is on the squad with Messi out but was left on the bench vs Chile. Martinez, Inter Milan’s key man, seems to be preferred and his scoring output explains why.
Along with Messi, Martinez has scored the joint-most goals on the team in qualifying and has 18 goals in 36 appearances for the national team. While Argentina’s attack gets a lot of attention, the spine of the team is excellent.
At 33, Nicolas Otamendi is still playing at a high level and has played the most minutes on a La Albiceleste team that has conceded just seven goals in fourteen matches.
Colombia Blows Opportunity
With games vs Bolivia and at Venezuela remaining, Colombia is very much in the running for World Cup qualification. They’re currently in sixth place with 17 points, just three points behind fourth-place Peru.
However, Colombia blew a golden opportunity to put themselves in the fourth and final automatic qualifying place by losing 1-0 to Peru at home last Friday.
Colombia had chance after chance go wayward and outshot Peru 30-4. In the 85th minute, Peru’s Edison Flores ended up scoring with their only shot on target.
The fans in Barranquilla were not having it, whistling the players off the field and throwing objects as James Rodriguez urged them to stop.
The Atalanta duo of Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata aren’t on the side for this round of qualifiers and the strikers could’ve certainly contributed vs Peru. Muriel is Colombia’s joint-leading scorer in qualifying despite making just five starts.
It’ll be up to the veteran Radamel Falcao and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Rafael Borre to provide goals, but they have just one between them in this campaign. Perhaps winger Luis Diaz, who just signed for Liverpool, could be the hero that Colombia needs.
Colombia have been a rough recent pick for betting online as they have just one win in their last 10 qualifying matches.
Argentina hasn’t lost to Colombia on home soil for nearly 30 years. With their unbeaten streak on the line, it’s hard to see that changing here.
Colombia’s final product is lacking and the Argentina defense is well equipped to keep them at bay. Argentina at -110 odds in the sportsbook is a decent bet.