The World Cup qualifiers for South America are always an intensely contested affair, and it does seem like every campaign features a struggling giant who might not make it but eventually do... But that said, Argentina are really in a spot of bother.
A decision that was confirmed today to overturn results from two Bolivia matches due to the fielding of an ineligible player has badly hurt Argentina. In particular, Chile's draw with Bolivia being overturned and awarded as a 3-0 win has seen Alexis Sanches & Co. climb above Messi's men.
Here's the table as things stand with eight games to go. Keep in mind that four teams qualify automatically and the fifth-placed side will enter a playoff.
It doesn't look too bad right now, with eight games to play, but...
Argentina's next two fixtures are away to Brazil, followed by a match at home to Colombia just six days later. Considering that Argentina only took two points from their last three games against perceived weaker teams in Venezuela, Peru and Paraguay, it's a big ask. And the rest of the games look rather tough as well.
After Brazil and Colombia, Argentina will host Chile in a must-win game, then have to travel to play Bolivia at altitude, which is followed by an away match against Uruguay.
They will finish off the campaign with games against Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador which you would think they should win, although they failed to do so against both Peru and Ecuador in this campaign so far.
It shows how much of a shark-tank South American qualifying is, and it's extremely frustrating that no TV network over here is showing these qualifiers.
Do you think they can manage to turn it around in time?