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Argentina v Venezuela Match Preview, 06/09/2017

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R. Feltscher (54 og)
J. Murillo (50)
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti
Argentina v Venezuela Betting: Messi and Co. to struggle but grab low-scoring win
10:52 BST 05/09/2017
Lionel Messi Argentina
Despite the presence of some of the world's best forwards, Jorge Sampaoli's side have struggled in the final third but should grab three vital points

Argentina have no margin for error as they head into the final three matches of what has been a bitterly disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign, and La Albiceleste are far from guaranteed a place in Russia next summer.

Currently they occupy fifth spot in the CONMEBOL table and should they finish there, Jorge Sampaoli's side would face a play-off with New Zealand and would obviously be massive favourites, but any slip-ups in the early hours of Wednesday morning against Venezuela and things could look even worse for Lionel Messi and his team-mates.

While this should on paper be the most straight-forward game of qualifying, at home to the bottom side, Argentina will be wary of a Venezuela side that caused them serious problems a year ago; the Venezuelans raced into 2-0 lead last September before Argentina salvaged a point with a late goal in the second half to secure a 2-2 draw. 

bet365, who are live-streaming the game for UK-based customers, offer a home win in Buenos Aires at just 1/12 (1.08) while Venezuela - who have won just one of their last 17 away qualifiers - are offered at 25/1 (26.00).

This campaign has seen Argentina suffer some extraordinary results at home with the two-time world champions beaten by both Ecuador and Paraguay, nevertheless it would be one of the biggest upsets in recent CONMEBOL history if Venezuela were to pick up three points, and we should be expecting a much needed win for Sampaoli's men.

What has been the biggest surprise in Argentina's qualifiers over the last two years has been their lack of goals, with the side netting just 15 times in 15 matches and last week's 0-0 draw in Uruguay was the sixth time they have failed to find the back of the net. While a home win is on the cards, there is value is opposing a high scoring match and the price of 5/4 (2.20) for an Argentine victory and under 3.5 goals looks generous.

All seven of Argentina's home qualifiers in this campaign have seen fewer than four goals, and this selection pays out with a 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0 win for the hosts - giving punters plenty of options. 

Argentina to win and under 3.5 goals at 5/4 (2.20) for a 2pt stake with bet365