The runners up of the 2014 Fifa world cup, Argentina, are on the brink of not qualifying to play in the Russia world cup 2018, if they lose their home qualifier match to Chile. The top four teams from the South American group qualify directly to Fifa World Cup. At present Argentina are ranked fifth in the South American qualifying group and take on Chile, who are ranked fourth in the group. Sixth ranked Colombia will play Bolivia at home and it is widely expected that Columbia will win that match. So the pressure will obviously be on Argentina as a defeat can really hamper their chance to play in the inter-confederation play offs.

If Argentina beat fourth ranked Chile they can over take Chile and go into fourth position. Chile have beaten the Albiceleste in the last two editions of the Copa America Cup on penalties. However, Argentina have defeated Chile previously away from home in a Fifa cup qualifying match. Argentina will have to face Boliva in their high altitude place after this match and a it is a place where La Albiceleste have not fared well. This however will surely add more pressure on Messi. The reason is that if Argentina does not qualify for Fifa cup, the chance of Messi lifting the cup in his career will surely be almost over.

Argentina: Messi will have to dribble forward

2016 saw Argentina pegged back with draws to Venezuela and Peru and the team that had Messi lost to Paraguay and Brazil.

La Albiceleste did well to beat Columbia 3-0 . However Messi will have to play at his best against Chile and needs to ensure that he controls the midfield well. Messi, Higuain, Angel Di Maria, and Aguero are the possible attacking options that would be fielded by coach Bauza. Rojo would be the defensive head for the team and Otamendi would be the another supporting defensive player for Albiceleste .

Argentina: Messi did not have this bad situation under Maradona

Maradona as a coach did not set house on fire as he had set as a player. Still Argentina was comfortably placed in the world cup qualifiers with Maradona as coach. That brings additional pressure on the coach Bazua. The Albiceleste coach has been not able to find a suitable playing style that suits their wide range of attacking players including Messi and the team looks a pale shadow of the team that played in World cup final and Copa American final.

Argentina will surely hope that their greatest player Messi will play in the Fifa cup in 2018 and hopefully get another chance to emulate their idol Maradona by lifting Fifa cup.