Qatar and Argentina meet in their final Group B match in Copa America on Sunday, kicking off at 4:00pm local time in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which is 8:00pm UK time. It’s a pivotal game, as both teams will almost certainly need to win to secure progression to the knockout stages.

Qatar

Qatar were tipped to be the whipping boys of the tournament, and were backed at 100/1 to win the whole thing. However, they have surprised South America, by being more than competitive in their opening two games. First of all, they came from 2-goals down to secure a famous point against Paraguay, and in their recent game, they held Colombia to a 0-0 draw until conceding a sucker punch with only 5 minutes left on the clock to lose 1-0.

Qatar are ahead on goals scored ahead of Argentina, so a draw may potentially seem them through as one of the best 3rd place teams, but a win would certainly confirm their spot in the quarter finals. It would be one of the footballing stories of the season though, if they were able to beat/eliminate Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the Copa America.

Argentina

Argentina have been mediocre start at best during their first two Copa America matches, and now face a do-or-die situation against Qatar. Before the tournament, Argentina would have fancied beating Qatar to progress to the quarter finals, but given their opponents stern performances, it will be a lot easier said than done. After losing to Colombia in a hard-fought match, Argentina were expecting a response against Paraguay – but the fans didn’t really get it.

It was a tight game, with both sides having periods of domination. Paraguay had scored first, which put Argentina on the brink of an early elimination. However, VAR intervened and awarded Argentina a penalty, and Lionel Messi had no jitters at the spot. Another penalty was soon awarded, but this time for Paraguay, but it was saved by Franco Armani to keep the scores level, and that’s how it ended. One point from a possible six for Argentina, and they’ll need to beat Qatar, or else they are eliminated.

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Head to Head

The teams have played only once before back in 2005, in a friendly 8 months before the 2006 World Cup. At the time, Lionel Messi was starting to make a name for himself as he was in the team, Argentina were one of the favourites to win the following World Cup, and many people didn’t even know Qatar even had a football team. The match finished 3-0 to Argentina, with Juan Roman Riquelme, Julio Cruz and Roberto Ayala scoring the goals in a cruising victory.

Our Predictions and Betting Tips

Qatar are huge outsiders to win this game at 10/1, with Argentina priced at 1/4 favourites. For the sides to draw, that is at 17/4. Despite the fact that Qatar have out-performed Argentina in terms of results in their first two games, the bookmakers are still not giving them a hope.

I will tip Argentina to win, but I would also consider backing Qatar in a double chance (win or draw) at a generous 11/4. For a correct score prediction, I’d tip a 2-0 victory for Argentina at 9/2. To increase odds on that, it may be worth adding Lionel Messi to score first in a Scorecast at 17/2. For great odds on feasible score lines, do consider a 4-2 win (50/1), or 3-2 win (40/1) for Argentina to earn big gains. To increase odds on an Argentina victory, consider backing them to win by only one-goal margin at 11/4, or to win both halves at 11/8.

Finally, for the tipsters, football continues to shock us, so if you want to back Qatar to score in the first 10 minutes, that is priced at 16/1, or, go for the jugular, and bet on Qatar to win 2-1 at 40/1.

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