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Argentina, Netherlands may miss World Cup 2018

Argentina, Netherlands may miss World Cup 2018

He announced his retirement from worldwide football immediately after that third final defeat in July a year ago, but quickly had a rethink. The three subsequent wins Argentina have enjoyed were nearly exclusively down to him. The job seems a bit harder away against fellow candidate for World Cup qualification Peru, but the history is in Colombia's favour. A single point could also see them move above Chile and Colombia as long as both those teams lose by a two-goal margin.

With Brazil already clinching the stop spot in qualifying, Brazilian fans have taken to social media to call for their team to roll over in the game against Chile, to further hamper Argentina's World Cup hopes.

Fernando Gago ruptured knee ligaments after coming on against Peru and will miss this match and many months. Los Cafeteros are in for sure with a win. Peru have won two of their last three games and drew in Argentina, however, so can't be underestimated.

If Colombia loses to Peru, they'll be in trouble. The 53-year-old has named a relatively inexperienced squad, with just eight of players plying their trade outside Ecuador.

That's because they host third-place Chile and that result will have huge implications on who qualifies.

Ronaldo will know that if he can inspire his nation to victory over the Swiss, though, he will be at the World Cup.

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For North and Central America, only Costa Rica and Mexico are qualified, and there's one space to be determined, aside from the fourth-place play-off match.

A draw will do if Brazil beat Chile by more than one goal and if Argentina draw and Paraguay fail to win.

Martino also quit but Messi came back under new coach Edgardo Bauza, although the team did not improve and he was replaced by Sampaoli.

Of course, Argentina - who are now 6th and outside the playoff spot - will be praying Brazil can do them a massive favour. A defeat could even end up in fifth place and a playoff spot against New Zealand, if Paraguay fail to win and Colombia beat Peru. The Albiceleste have now scored only once in their past four qualifying games. That would be disaster for a number of reasons, as it would mean Lionel Messi will not be playing in Russian Federation.

Jorge Sampaoli's side heaved to a draw against Peru in the early hours of Thursday morning. Now, Brazil has Argentina's fate in their hands.

How did they get themselves into this mess?

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