Argentina face a difficult trip to Bolivia in CONMEBOL qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday, desperately needing a victory to solidify their top-four place in the standings.
The two-time world champions cannot afford any slips in the final matches, with Ecuador and Chile banging on the door of automatic qualification.
The contest will be in the altitude of La Paz, making the task an even more nervous encounter for Lionel Messi and his team-mates.
Here is how you can watch the qualifier:
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BST
TV: BeIN Sports (U.S. only)
Stream: BeIN Sports Connect
Argentina have struggled throughout Round 1 of South American qualification, and they have left the door open to a number of dangerous teams.
According to Mauricio Savarese of the Associated Press, Argentina have not prevailed in Bolivia since 2005, and they were thrashed 6-1 in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
While Brazil have found their equilibrium under new coach Tite, the Argentinians have fallen into a poor run of form.
They have won just six of their qualification games, drawing four and losing three on the way.
La Albiceleste defeated Chile in their previous match in a controversial 1-0 victory, but coach Edgardo Bauza will not care how the wins are accumulated at this stage.
Former international Diego Latorre wrote in La Nacion (h/t Tim Vickery of ESPN FC) the Argentina unit has many flaws:
The midfield is the heart of a side. It should not be empty. But that is what keeps happening with Bauza's team. Operating with three strikers requires that the ball is played well out of defence, with a circuit that in every action offers three passing options.
None of this is apparent in the current Argentina side. There is no capacity for association, no one playing the pass and getting in position to receive the return ball, and as a consequence the strikers are isolated and not participating.
According to Savarese, Bolivia rested their senior players in their last contest against Colombia, leaving them fresh and motivated to handle Argentina.
If this tactic bares fruit, the visitors could struggle as they fight for oxygen in testing conditions against a tricky host.
A World Cup without Messi seems unbelievable, but this version of Argentina doesn't match up to vintage editions.
Messi cannot do it on his own, and his country could be set for a huge failure if they do not strike first in La Paz.