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NO LEO IN RUSSIA

Argentina are in real danger of missing World Cup 2018 despite ludicrously strong attack

Argentina are currently outside of the automatic qualification places for World Cup 2018 with just three games left to play

Lionel Messi, Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala on the pitch.

Sergio Aguero on the bench. Gonzalo Higuain sitting at home. Argentina’s attacking options are ridiculous.

But a goalless draw against Uruguay has left Jorge Sampaoli’s side in a genuine fight to qualify for World Cup 2018 in Russia.

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It’s a long walk to Russia, Lionel

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It’s a long walk to Russia, Lionel

Argentina currently sit fifth in South American qualifying, with only four teams going through to Russia automatically.

Brazil, who have only lost once in 15 rounds of qualifying, have already guaranteed a spot in Russia, leaving just three places up for grab.

They are followed by Colombia, Uruguay and Chile who, as things stand, will be joining Neymar and co in Russia.

The floor is qualifying for a place at World Cup 2018

Reuters
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The floor is qualifying for a place at World Cup 2018

Chile surprising 3-0 loss to Paraguay- their first in Santiago to that opposition since 2007- means that Argentina are out of the qualification places on goal difference, rather than being three points behind.

But a game against Venezuela, who have nothing to lose having already failed to qualify, is followed by a match against Peru, who only trail Argentina by two points.

A final game against Ecuador, in the altitude of Quito, will be extremely difficult given how strong Antonio Valencia’s nation are at home.

So the prospect of a Messi-less World Cup is all too real. We can see your grin from here, Cristiano.

That moment you find out Messi isn’t going to the World Cup

Getty - Contributor
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That moment you find out Messi isn’t going to the World Cup

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