Argentina favourites to top South American qualifying despite tough matches to come
Will anyone be able to stop Argentina on their quest to win the group and qualify for Brazil 2014? The Lionel Messi inspired Argentina have tallied 20 points from their nine matches played so far and sit three points ahead of Ecuador in the competitive qualifying group. The South American qualifying group is one of the most enduring from around the world, taking a good couple of years to get done. This is because there are nine groups in the intercontinental play offs and that means there is a long haul of sixteen matches to reach the World Cup Finals. The nations are over half way there now, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing for favourites Argentina.
Argentina remain strong favourites to top the group, but they have come under some pressure from Ecuador and Colombia, who are looking an ever-growing, talented force What is helping Argentina’s case is that they are naturally missing their big matches against Brazil in the qualifiers, because of the 2014 World Cup being hosted in Brazil. Argentina have been held to draws by Peru and Bolivia while suffered a shock defeat away at Venezuela. It is the tough away matches that nations face which make South America World Cup qualification so intriguing. Argentina have to go up against Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay away from home in their remaining matches so there is a lot of work to be done.
Aside from Argentina leading the way, the biggest story from South American qualification so far has been the struggles of Uruguay, who look to have fallen quite a way in their status. After success in the 2011 Copa America on the back of their 4th place finish at the 2010 World Cup, Uruguay have managed just three wins in race to make it to Brazil 2014 and are languishing eight points behind leaders Argentina.
World Cup 2014 South America Qualifying Group Winner Odds at online bookmaker Bwin
Argentina ½, Colombia 7/2, Ecuador 11/1, Chile 12/1, Uruguay 14/1
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