Argentina and Colombia will collide in San Juan on Tuesday evening in what could be seen as a must-win match for both teams, although the hosts are under extreme pressure to produce three points in their 2018 World Cup qualifier.
La Albiceleste have won just once in their last six outings, although Colombia make their way to the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario having failed to score in their previous two meetings against Argentina.
Tuesday's visitors sit third in CONMEBOL qualifying as things stand, two points and three places ahead of Argentina, who are sixth and lie adrift of the qualification places.
The top four finishers will automatically advance to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while the fifth-place finisher will progress to the inter-confederation play-offs, a fate Argentina are facing at the moment.
Read on for a preview of Tuesday's South American blockbuster, complete with all the viewing information you'll need to ensure you don't miss out on the World Cup qualifying action.
Date: Tuesday, November 15
Time: 11:30 p.m. GMT/6:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, Argentina
TV Info: beIN Sports 15 (US)
|2018 World Cup: CONMEBOL Standings|
Bauza's Reputation on the Line
To say Edgardo Bauza's three months in charge of Argentina have been underwhelming would be an understatement, with the manager having led his national team to victory just once in five matches.
It's been two months since that 1-0 win over Uruguay, but despite going four games without tasting victory since then, the Albiceleste boss told the press he is confident of securing a spot at the 2018 World Cup:
I never put qualifying for Russia 2018 in doubt. The points we've lost hurt, but we still depend on ourselves. The group is strong and that gives us confidence.
We've lost points that we didn't think we would and it's normal that criticism has come out. Hopefully in San Juan the people can spread the importance that this shirt has. We need that support.
We haven't had a regularity in our play. The players have to impose the ability they have. The players know their condition and they know what they can do. I trust that.
Argentina will need more than just the support of their fans if they're to beat a dangerous Colombia side on Tuesday, especially considering manager Jose Pekerman's side are unbeaten in their last three matches.
Not only that, but South American reporter Paulo Freitas sourced Fox Sports Argentina, which reported Bauza could be facing unemployment unless he manages to secure victory at home on Tuesday:
Despite holding their place as one of South America's greatest superpowers, Argentina have also failed to score in their previous two outings, losing 1-0 at home to Paraguay before the 3-0 demolition by Brazil on Thursday.
Even with the talents of a fully fit Lionel Messi, Argentina have struggled to pick up form under Bauza, who could find himself ousted from the national team's helm should he fail to capture a midweek result.
Colombia to Worsen Argentina Woes?
Colombia don't have the most promising recent record against Argentina, having already conceded a 1-0 defeat to Tuesday's opponents this time last year, as well as losing to their foes on penalties in last year's Copa America.
In fact, La Tricolor have failed to score in each of their last three fixtures on Argentinian soil, drawing twice and losing once, and the BBC's Fernando Duarte has said La Albiceleste should still make it through to the World Cup:
That's by no means a foregone conclusion for Tuesday's home side, however, and South American broadcaster Juan G. Arango has hinted at Colombia using Brazil's recent win over Argentina as influence for their own triumph:
Colombia, who lie six points off the summit in CONMEBOL qualifying, will be considered a major threat not only on Argentina's chances of progressing in the competition, but to the rest of their peers vying for a place in Russia.
An Edwin Cardona strike gave Pekerman's men a 1-0 victory in their most recent away fixture against Paraguay, and Colombia have the capacity to stunt Argentina's qualification hopes in San Juan on Tuesday.