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Argentina vs Ecuador predictions: More of the same from reigning champions
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Aidan Perkins
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has safely guided his side into the knockout stages in the Copa America
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has safely guided his side into the knockout stages in the Copa America

- Argentina won all three group games without conceding
- Ecuador picked up four points in group stage
- Recommended bet:
Tie/Argentina - Half Time/Full Time

Argentina's defence of their Copa America crown has gone smoothly so far and they are unlikely to encounter too many problems when they face Ecuador in the last eight.

The world champions won all three of their group matches against Canada, Chile and Peru without conceding a goal and should sweep past a limited Ecuador outfit next.

Ecuador sealed their place in the quarter-finals with a creditable 0-0 draw with Mexico, after earlier beating Jamaica and while they can put up some resistance in the first half, Lionel Messi and co should turn on the style in the second 45 minutes to progress.

Team news

Messi missed the final group game as a precaution amid reported minor hamstring issues, but the Inter Miami superstar has trained without any problems since and should be fine to face Ecuador.

Alexis Mac Allister, Julian Alvarez and Rodrigo De Paul were among several rested against Peru last time out and all three are expected to be recalled as boss Lionel Scaloni reverts to his strongest line-up.

Ecuador are set to be unchanged from the side that drew with Mexico, meaning Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo will start in the engine room alongside Atletico Mineiro's Alan Franco.

Ecuador's record goalscorer, former Everton and West Ham forward Enner Valencia, will start up front as he looks to add to his impressive haul of 41 international goals.

Forward Enner Valencia is one of Ecuador's most experienced players
Forward Enner Valencia is one of Ecuador's most experienced players

The stats

The two countries met in a warm-up friendly for the tournament on June 10, when Argentina won 1-0.

Ecuador and Argentina have met 40 times down the years, with Argentina winning on 24 occasions, Ecuador have five victories and there have been 11 draws.

This is a rematch of the 2021 Copa America quarter-final — a tie Argentina won 3-0.

Argentina have won their last eight matches.

Ecuador have won four of their last eight games, losing three times and drawing once in that period.


Argentina have gone about their business in the US with the minimum of fuss and while it is fair to say they have yet to show their very best form in the tournament, three wins without conceding a goal is a welcome return for the outright favourites.

Their stellar line-up, which includes Messi, Liverpool playmaker Mac Allister and Manchester City forward Alvarez, looks distinctly better than most squads in the tournament and they are certainly far better equipped than Friday's opponents.

Ecuador will attempt to restrict La Albiceleste to begin with and may well have some success in keeping them at bay in the first period.

Notably, Argentina have fired into life in the second half of all three games in the competition so far, with all their goals coming in the second 45 minutes after going in level at the break.

That pattern may well continue in Houston as Scaloni's side once again underline their superiority and experience the longer the game goes on.

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