World Cup qualification getting messy for Argentina
Planet's top two players 33-1 to miss out on finals
A World Cup without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would be heartbreaking for many football fans but could we get to the finals without the two best players on the planet being involved?
Ladbrokes go 33-1 that Argentina and Portugal are absent in Russia next summer, with the South Americans having most to fear.
Argentina have fallen below the qualification spots going into the final round of Conmebol fixtures after their 0-0 home draw against Peru.
The good news is that a win at altitude in Ecuador in the early hours of Wednesday morning will be enough for Argentina to qualify but they are sixth and outside the fifth playoff spot on goals scored in a tight section where the top four will reach Russia automatically.
Bet365 quote just 1-4 that Argentina make next summer's finals and it's 3-1 that they miss out.
However, a draw could be the end of the line for Messi and his star-studded teammates depending on results elsewhere.
Argentina would quite happily settle for fifth place and a two-legged playoff against New Zealand but things will be trickier for Portugal if they are forced into a knockout situation.
The European champions face minnows Andorra on Saturday and should win easily to set up a showdown with table-topping Switzerland in Lisbon on Tuesday for the automatic slot in Group B.
Portugal are 8-1 with bet365 not to qualify for the finals which makes it in theory a 35-1 shot with them for Ronaldo and Messi to sit out the summer, but the firm are only offering singles on their to qualify/not qualify specials.
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