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Gonzalo Higuain sealed a brace against Venezuela with the help of Lionel Messi, and Argentina have to win every remaining game if they want to stave off the threat of Colombia.
With Brazil automatically qualifying as hosts, the Argentine public see this phase as a chance to assert their authority over the CONMEBOL region. Finishing second to Los Cafeteros is not in the plan.
La Albiceleste travel to face Bolivia in dreaded La Paz—the city 3,600 meters above sea level and utterly devoid of oxygen. Three weeks are needed to acclimate, but players get just a few hours.
Bolivia thrashed Diego Maradona's Argentina 6-1 in La Paz just a few years ago, and Alejandro Sabella will hope his team can take their chances and get away with a result.
Gonzalo Higuain will miss this game after picking up a booking against Venezuela, so the attacking onus falls on Messi and his combination work with the replacement No. 9, likely to be Rodrigo Palacio. His excellent form for his country over the last 12 months suggests he's up to the task.