On Thursday, reigning South-American champions Argentina head to Caracas, Venezuela after winning Copa America this summer to face El Vinotinto in an important match for both country's qualifying chances.
Argentina enters the match in great shape as far as its qualifying chances are concerned, sitting second on the table with 12 points, trailing just Brazil which has 18 at the moment.
How to Watch
Date: Thursday, Sept. 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Olímpico de la UCV, Caracas, Venezuela
TV: fubo Sports Network 2 (ENG), Eliminatorias CONMEBOL (SPA)
Live stream Venezuela vs. Argentina on fuboTV: Sign up here!
That currently places La Albiceleste four points ahead of fourth-place Uruguay, and considering only the top-four teams in CONMEBOL qualifying are guaranteed spots in the 2022 World Cup, Argentina is sitting pretty at the moment.
However, as fans of soccer know, things like that can change in an instant. Argentina's upcoming three-match week, kicked off on the road against Venezuela, will be vital for improving its World Cup qualifying chances even further.
Argentina has yet to be defeated in World Cup qualifiers, with three victories and three draws in its six outings, though its most recent round of games, a match against Chile followed by one against Colombia in early June, were slightly disappointing because both ended in ties.
Argentina will look to improve upon that against a Venezuela side that sits second-to-last on the table with just four points by its name, a by-product of a win against Chile and a draw against Uruguay, to go with four defeats so far in qualifiers.
Argentina will be led by arguably the greatest player of his generation, Lionel Messi, who just saw his first action at his new club, Paris Saint-Germain, this past weekend. Around him, La Albiceleste fields an outstanding roster, including Copa America hero, goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa), midfield trio Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico Madrid), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham) and Cristian Romero (Tottenham) plus attacker Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan).
Venezuela, meanwhile, will put together a much stronger roster than it had at Copa America, where it was affected by a COVID-19 outbreak before the tournament.
Among the returnees will be former MLS MVP Josef Martínez (Atlanta United) though El Vinotinto will still be without Salomón Rondón (Everton) due to COVID-19 restrictions placed for EPL players. Goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez (RC Lens) has also proven to be one of the top shot-stoppers in CONMEBOL.
It'll be a tough match for both sides, because although Argentina is a much stronger side, winning on the road in CONMEBOL is never easy, especially in Caracas.