Argentina continues its World Cup qualifying journey in CONMEBOL on Thursday when the Albiceleste welcome Paraguay to Buenos Aires for the third round of games. Lionel Scaloni’s team is off to a fine start despite not the most impressive play, winning their first two games. Paraguay, meanwhile, is off to a 1-1-0 start with four points through two games but face their stiffest test here inside the daunting La Bombonera.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Thursday, Nov. 12
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: La Bombonera — Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Watch: Pay-per-view via Fanatiz USA, select cable and satellite providers
- Odds: Argentina -350; Draw +400; Paraguay +850 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Argentina: Wins over Ecuador and Bolivia to start qualifying came after pretty average displays. The attack led by Lionel Messi generated just five shots on target across the 180 minutes from the first two games, so they will need to be sharper here with Paraguay’s physical backline. This is a match the hosts should win, but they must keep their shape well defensively and be cautious when marking inside the box with Paraguay liking to play balls in from the wing.
Paraguay: Argentina like to get their fullbacks forward and drop a defensive midfielder, and that leaves space down the wings. Miguel Almiron and Angel Romero should get their chances to go at defenders one-on-one from the wings and can cause some trouble, but they will need to be a bit more creative when making their runs. In the 1-0 win over Venezuela last time out, the attack was predictable, played too direct and was just lacking sharpness. Argentina has a defense that leaves plenty to be desired, and if they can mix it up when making runs into the box, they could create some space to create dangerous chances.
Again, Argentina win but don’t look overly convincing as Messi scores again. Pick: Argentina 2, Paraguay 0