World Cup qualifying is underway as Paraguay are the latest team to try and stop Argentina’s unbeaten run under Lionel Scaloni. Despite Lionel Messi returning to play for Inter Miami, he may still be a doubt as he’s missed time due to fatigue and a knock but was able to return ahead of the Herons’ most recent game against FC Cincinnati last weekend, where he came off the bench. Not having started a game since mid-September, fitness may still be a concern as the game kicks off.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 12 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Mas Monumental — Buenos Aires, Argentina
- TV: Universo | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
- Odds: Argentina -440; Draw +430; Paraguay +1200
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Argentina: In his press conference, Scaloni wasn’t super confident about Messi’s availability despite his return to the lineup for Inter Miami.
“For him, one more training session is important, and I will talk to him to decide whether he plays or not, but I have to talk to him first, and above all I have to be sure that he can start,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said.
If Messi can’t go, the attacking load will be on Julian Alvarez who has been at the center of everything for Manchester City. Add that in with Argentina’s defense and they’ll still be hard to beat.
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Paraguay: A team that has improved, Paraguay have struggled in head-to-head completion with Argentina. Searching for their first win in qualification during this round, it will be quite a road as Paraguay have only defeated Argentina three times in their history. Also struggling away from home, this will be a chance to turn things around.
Even with Messi likely beginning on the bench, Argentina will prove to be too much for Paraguay to overturn in the math. Pick: Argentina 3, Paraguay 0