Sports

U2 yield to Messi fever, delay Argentina concert

U2 yield to Messi fever, delay Argentina concert

Brazil head coach Tite believes Argentina must be having trouble sleeping as they face the possibility of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970. It is possible that Argentina could lose and still make the intercontinental playoff spot, but it is more likely that even a draw would eliminate them entirely from playing in Russian Federation.

The Argentinians have an abysmal record in away games against Ecuador, with their last victory in Quito coming in 2001.

Argentina now sit sixth in the 10-team South American section, with only the top four countries qualifying for Russian Federation automatically and the fifth-placed side facing a play-off against New Zealand.

As things stand, those two matches would take place in Wellington on November 8 with the return in Buenos Aires on November 15.

Are we poised to suffer a World Cup without the world's best player?

Brazil might have already qualified but they will play a very big role in who will join them in Russian Federation.

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Messi has played in nine of Argentina's 17 qualifiers. A win or a draw at home to the already-eliminated Bolivia will be enough for them. Every team between third and seventh could claim the automatic qualification spot based on results elsewhere on the continent.

For Leo Messi it could be another struggle as he looks to lift his Argentina side to a win in the altitude of Ecuador.

A World Cup without Messi would be pretty disastrous for football, to be fair.

Furthermore, Jorge Sampaoli's side are now 10/1 outsiders to go one step further in Russian Federation next Summer, then they did at Brazil in 2014, where they suffered an excruciating extra time final defeat at the hands of Mario Götze and Germany. However, having previously played global football for Argentina and Colombia, he missed out on the 1958 World Cup with his adopted homeland, Spain, when they finished second in their qualifying group to Scotland. Brazil was the first country to qualify for next summer's World Cup. They drew their three games against Uruguay, Venezuela, and Peru. The 53-year-old has named a relatively inexperienced squad, with just eight of players plying their trade outside Ecuador. For that to happen, they need their star players to appear when it matters the most.

If Peru gets a draw, it would need Argentina and Paraguay to lose to remain in contention, or just one of those two teams lose if Brazil beats Chile.