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Argentina vs Ecuador: Match Preview, Team News, Predictions and more

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Argentina vs Ecuador: Match Preview, Team News, Predictions and more.

World champions Argentina will encounter dark horses Ecuador in the Copa America quarterfinals

As Argentina prepare to face Ecuador in the quarterfinals of Copa America 2024, they do so on the back of a perfect group stage record. La Albiceleste, led by Lionel Scaloni, have showcased their dominance with victories over Canada, Chile, and Peru, solidifying their position as tournament favourites. The early qualification for the knockout stages allowed Scaloni to rest key players, which could prove beneficial in the later stages of the tournament.

Lautaro Martinez has been particularly instrumental, emerging as the event’s top scorer with four goals from the group games. His form will be critical as Argentina aims to continue their title defence against a resilient Ecuadorian side.

On the other side, Ecuador’s journey to the quarterfinals has been a mix of challenges and triumphs. After an initial setback against Venezuela, they rebounded strongly against Jamaica and held their own in a draw with Mexico, showcasing their ability to compete at high levels. The emergence of young talents like Kendry Paez and Moises Caicedo has injected vitality and skill into the team, raising hopes of a competitive clash against the seasoned Argentinians.

Ecuador faces a daunting task against the defending champions, but their recent performances and the rising stars in their squad suggest they could present a formidable challenge. This match is set to be a compelling encounter, highlighting Argentina’s quest to maintain their dominance and Ecuador’s determination to upset the odds and make a significant mark on the tournament.

The Argentina vs Ecuador match is set to kick off at 9:00 PM ET at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, United States on 4th July.

Team news


With Lionel Scaloni back on the touchline after his suspension and Lionel Messi returning to the lineup following a hamstring issue, Argentina are poised to present a strong front against Ecuador in their Copa America 2024 quarterfinal match. Scaloni opting for a 4-4-2 formation—a setup they began the tournament with—signals a return to a strategy that has served them well in the past.

In goal, Emiliano Martinez continues to be a reliable last line of defence, his performances critical to Argentina’s success. The defensive setup will see Nahuel Molina at right-back, with Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez forming an aggressive central defensive partnership that aims to neutralize Ecuador’s attacking threats. Nicolas Tagliafico will complement this defence on the left.

The midfield quartet features Rodrigo De Paul on the right, who will be crucial in linking the defence and the attack, while Enzo Fernandez will anchor the center, controlling play and distributing the ball effectively. Alexis Mac Allister will likely join Fernandez in the middle of the park, contributing creativity and defensive work, with Nicolas Gonzales adding width and pace on the left.

Up front, the partnership of Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez will be key. Messi’s playmaking ability combined with Martinez’s goal-scoring form makes them a formidable duo capable of penetrating even the sturdiest defenses.

This strong lineup, enhanced by the return of key players, positions Argentina well to take on an Ecuadorian side that has shown both vulnerability and resilience. As the defending champions, Argentina will look to leverage their experience and squad depth to secure a spot in the semifinals.

Argentina Predicted XI (4-4-2): Martinez, Molina, Romero, Martinez, Tagliafico, De Paul, Fernandez, Allister, Gonzales, Messi, Martinez

World champions Argentina will encounter dark horses Ecuador in the Copa America quarterfinals.


Felix Sanchez has prepared his Ecuadorian squad to face a formidable Argentine side in the Copa America 2024 quarterfinals with a robust and strategic 4-2-3-1 formation. In goal, Alexander Dominguez will continue as the primary goalkeeper, bringing experience and composure to the position. The defensive line should comprise Angelo Preciado on the right, offering both defensive acumen and the ability to support attacks down the flank. Center-backs Felix Torres and Willian Pacho will be central to thwarting Argentina’s potent attack, while Piero Hincapie’s role as left-back allows for defensive coverage and the capacity to contribute to the offense.

In midfield, the duo of Moises Caicedo and Alan Franco will anchor the defensive efforts, providing a shield for the backline while also facilitating the transition from defence to attack. Kendry Paez, positioned as the attacking midfielder, will be crucial in orchestrating offensive plays, feeding precise balls to the forwards and creating scoring opportunities.

On the wings, Jeremy Sarmiento and Jevin Rodriguez will be key in stretching Argentina’s defence and delivering crosses into the box. Their pace and dribbling abilities will be essential in breaking down a well-organized Argentine backline.

Leading the line, Enner Valencia’s return after a suspension is a significant boost. As the centre forward, his experience, positioning, and goal-scoring instincts will be vital as Ecuador looks to capitalize on their attacking movements.

Ecuador Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Dominguez, Preciado, Torres, Pacho, Hincapie, Alan, Caicedo, Sarmiento, Paez, Rodriguez, Valencia

World champions Argentina will encounter dark horses Ecuador in the Copa America quarterfinals.

Key Stats

  • Lionel Messi has yet to score a goal in this competition despite making two assists so far.
  • Argentina’s last defeat came in November, a 2-0 loss to Uruguay.
  • Ecuador are seen as the underdog of the 2024 Copa America.

Argentina vs. Ecuador: match-deciding duels

Lionel Messi vs. Moises Caicedo

Argentina vs Ecuador: Match Preview, Team News, Predictions and more.

With Lionel Messi returning to the starting lineup for Argentina in their quarterfinal match against Ecuador, his presence is set to reignite Argentina’s offensive force. Messi will be central to Argentina’s strategy, particularly after sitting out the previous game due to a hamstring issue. His return not only boosts the team’s attacking potential but also poses a significant tactical challenge for Ecuador.

Ecuador, recognizing the threat Messi poses, is likely to deploy Moises Caicedo in a critical role aimed at neutralizing Messi’s influence on the game. Caicedo, known for his robust defensive skills and ability to cover ground, will likely have the task of shadowing Messi closely, attempting to disrupt the rhythm and flow that Messi typically orchestrates from the forward or attacking midfield positions.

Messi’s skill at finding spaces, his precision passing, and his threat from direct free-kicks make him a focal point for Argentina’s attack. Meanwhile, Caicedo’s discipline, strength, and tactical awareness will be crucial for Ecuador as they aim to contain Messi and limit his impact. The outcome of this tactical battle could very well dictate the pace and direction of the match.


Argentina 2-0, Ecuador

Argentina, under Lionel Scaloni, enter this match with a proven track record and a deep attacking arsenal. With the return of Lionel Messi to the lineup, Argentina’s attack is significantly bolstered, adding a layer of complexity for Ecuador’s defence. Messi, along with Lautaro Martinez—who has been in stellar form throughout the tournament—provides Argentina with the ability to break down robust defensive setups.

While Ecuador has shown they can rise to the occasion, with players like Moises Caicedo and Kendry Paez bringing individual brilliance to the pitch, Argentina’s overall experience and tactical discipline make them favourites to progress.