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5 big matches to watch out for this international week

Robin Bairner
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
20.89K   //    03 Oct 2017, 22:08 IST

Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Messi will be desperate to make it to Russia

This could be the most important week of international matches for the next four years. World Cup qualifying is drawing to a close around the globe and over the course of the next seven days, it will become much clearer who will be going to Russia 2018 and who’ll be staying at home.

As such, the pressure is on. Many big guns face missing out, while there are several more who have not booked their place at the competition yet.

Here are five of the matches that promise to be the most important over the next few days.

1.Argentina v Peru, October 5

It seems impossible to think it, but Lionel Messi and Argentina stand a very high chance of missing out on Russia 2018, particularly if they fail to get the better of Peru in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

The World Cup qualifying campaign for them has been one fraught with difficulties. 6 wins from 16 games mean they are actually behind their midweek opponents, while any slip in their final two matches would allow Copa America champions Chile to sneak in and overtake them.

Jorge Sampaoli boasts a squad replete with attacking talent, yet they have been unable to fire in qualifying. Remarkably, only Bolivia have scored fewer goals in the Conmebol section than the Argentines’ 16.

More than any other big nation, the pressure is on.

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Robin Bairner
SENIOR ANALYST
UK-based freelance football journalist for the last decade, I've appeared in publications such as the Guardian, the Blizzard, When Saturday Comes, but can most frequently be found on Goal.com. I write about European football, and have worked at both World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
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