Argentina are back in action with a crucial knock-out fixture in Copa America 2021 this weekend as they lock horns with Ecuador at the Estadio Olimpico Pedro Ludovico on Saturday. Argentina have shown tremendous improvement over the past year and hold the upper hand going into this match.
Ecuador are arguably the minnows in the quarterfinals this month but are perfectly capable of pulling off an upset on their day. The Ecuadorians put up an admirable stand against reigning champions Brazil last week and will need to put in a similar effort in this game.
Argentina, on the other hand, are growing in confidence with every passing game and thrashed Bolivia by a 4-1 margin in their last group match. La Albiceleste have the indomitable Lionel Messi in their ranks and are the favourites to win this game.
Argentina vs Ecuador Head-to-Head
Argentina have a predictably excellent record against Ecuador and have won 21 matches out of a total of 36 games played between the two sides. Ecuador have managed only five victories against Argentina and have plenty of work to do ahead of this match.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in October last year and ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for Argentina. Lionel Messi scored the only goal on the day and has an important role to play in this game.
Argentina form guide in Copa America 2021: W-W-W-D
Ecuador form guide in Copa America 2021: D-D-D-L
Argentina vs Ecuador: Numbers you need to know before their Copa America 2021 encounter
Lionel Messi made history yet again earlier this week and became Argentina's most-capped player with an astonishing 148 appearances for the national side. The Barcelona legend surpassed Javier Mascherano's landmark and marked his record appearance with two goals and an assist.
Argentina have scored 10 goals in their last three games against Ecuador and have dominated this fixture in the past. Lionel Messi famously scored a hat-trick against Ecuador four years ago to secure Argentina's qualification for the 2018 World Cup and will want to replicate his heroics this weekend.
Argentina are on a 17-match unbeaten streak at the moment and have finally found their balance with Lionel Scaloni. Their previous defeat occurred exactly two years ago in the Copa America 2019 semi-finals at the hands of arch-rivals Brazil.
Ecuador, on the other hand, are in the middle of a slump at the moment and are winless in their last six games. Their three most recent games have been draws, however, and Ecuador will do well to take the game to penalties this weekend.