Argentina welcomes Venezuela to La Bombonera on Friday as part of the South American qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, in a match where the Albiceleste are the overwhelming favourites to win.
A win would keep Argentina in second place behind Brazil but would take them to within just a point of the Seleção with just two games of qualifying left to play, assuming Brazil drop points in their clash with Chile.
Lionel Scaloni’s side have won three of their last five matches in qualifying 1-0 against Colombia, Uruguay and Peru, as well as drawing 0-0 with Brazil and narrowly defeating Chile 2-1.
Meanwhile, Venezuela are only playing for pride at this point, having suffered 12 defeats and conceded 30 goals in qualifying. They have won only 3 times on their qualifying journey. With this Argentina clash and then a home game against Colombia, they will be hoping to end their qualifying campaign with at least a point from these two matches and finish the campaign on a high note.
In Jose Pekerman’s sides’ last five outings, Venezuela have suffered four defeats, being hammered 3-0 and 4-1 by Chile and Uruguay, as well as narrowly losing 2-1 against Peru and 1-0 to Ecuador. The anomaly in these results was their 4-1 hammering of Bolivia which as mentioned above is one of their three wins in this campaign’s South America World Cup qualifying.
In the 27 games in this fixture's history, Venezuela have experienced a win just twice. They have lost 23 times, with 19 of those losses coming consecutively from 1956 up until Venezuela finally secured a 1-0 win in 2011 to break that streak.
The last meeting between these two back in early September saw Argentina win 3-1 in Venezuela thanks to goals by Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa, with Yeferson Soteldo’s 94th-minute penalty being a mere consolation for the home side.
Argentina have already qualified and Venezuela are rock bottom of the group, and when considering form and the differences in quality of the two sides, we are backing Argentina to secure an easy 3-0 win here.
Prediction: Argentina 3-0 Venezuela - 9/2