Argentina vs. Ecuador – 2021 Copa America (July 3)

| July 1, 2021 10:53 am PDT

It would probably not be too unwise for Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni to go against the soccer law of ‘taking one game at a time’ and start to prepare for a semifinal against either Uruguay or Colombia.

With Lionel Messi enjoying a very impressive Copa America, Argentina only has to overcome Ecuador to take another step closer to providing its number ten with his first international honor. But upsets can happen, I suppose. Read on to find out whether I think there will be one on Saturday – and for my Argentina vs. Ecuador betting pick.

Argentina vs. Ecuador Latest Odds

Argentina to Win-210
The Draw+340
Ecuador to Win+660

Alongside Brazil, Argentina has looked the best team at the 2021 Copa America. I’m actually only surprised by how much of a chance BetOnline has given Ecuador to win this one. Argentina might be odds on to win this quarterfinal, but I cannot see a way that this game finishes with any other result. It will be a huge upset if Ecuador makes it through to the semifinals.

Can Lionel Messi Win a Copa America?

It seems incredible that Messi has never won a trophy with his national side. But, with his contract now expired at Barcelona, he is doing everything he can to lead his team to glory in Brazil. It is very likely that he will extend his time at the Camp Nou – but will he be able to return as a Copa America winner?

Everything is going to plan so far for Argentina to meet Brazil in the final. Messi has scored some wonderful goals – including an exquisite free-kick against Chile – and he has been at the center of every positive move for La Albiceleste. Three goals in four games helped Argentina top its group.

There hasn’t been a lot of help from his teammates so far, though.

There is definitely the talent in the squad – although not as much as at previous Copa Americas – but Messi has been the main reason Argentina has done so well.

That shouldn’t make too much difference against Ecuador, but it might hurt Argentina’s chances later on in the tournament if nothing changes.

Can Ecuador Upset the Odds?

Gustavo Alfaro’s Ecuador can at least play without any pressure when it faces Argentina at the Estadio Olimpico Pedro Ludovico in Goiania on Saturday. No one expects La Tri to make it through to the final four by beating Argentina, and that could allow the players to enjoy themselves more freely.

But that will probably only happen if Argentina allows them to enjoy themselves. Ecuador has made it this far without winning a single game and benefitted from playing against a second-string Brazil team in the final game of the group stage. The draw was still a good result, but it does suggest that Ecuador will not be able to cope with a full-strength Argentina.

Worse news for Alfaro is that he will probably have to do without both Enner Valencia and Moises Caicedo.

They will be missed if they don’t recover from injuries picked up against Brazil. But it is the performance of the defense that will really count. They could be dealing with players like Gomez, Aguerro, and Angel Di Maria even if Messi doesn’t continue his fine form at this Copa America.

My Argentina vs. Ecuador Betting Pick

Pick
  • Argentina to Win
    -210

Usually, with games like this that look hopelessly one-sided, I err on the side of caution and remember that tournament soccer can be unpredictable. But with Lionel Messi playing so well, I think that he could almost beat Ecuador on his own.

Backed up by a strong, if not impressive, Argentina squad, I fully expect Messi to deliver another fine performance to progress to the semifinals. Tougher games will follow, but I think this will be an easy win for La Albiceleste.

Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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