Argentina will look to solidify its status atop the CONMEBOL qualifying table as it travels to face Chile, which currently sits in the precarious fifth position. As the teams pass the halfway point on the road to Brazil, the pressure level will pick up considerably.
Tuesday's match pits Argentina's star power against Chile's strong technical sense, which has escaped La Roja during a recent losing streak. If it doesn't get back on track quickly, its World Cup hopes will fade away. The margin for error is razor thin.
Let's take a look at the key information for the South American clash followed by some things to watch for as Argentina and Chile face off.
Where: Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile
When: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8:05 p.m. ET
Watch: beIN Sport
Live Stream: beINSport.tv
Chile Player to Watch: Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez is the key to the Chilean attack, but he hasn't scored in six appearances for the national team in the past year. It's one of the main reasons the team has struggled. It has trouble generating scoring chances when Sanchez is not heavily involved.
The Barcelona star hasn't been in top form while playing at club level either, picking up just one goal and two assists in nine games. He's too talented for the slump to continue much longer, though, and is due for a breakout performance.
La Roja should focus on getting him involved in the attack early by getting him a lot of touches with hope it will spark his play. Look for him to get back on the scoresheet against Argentina.
Argentina Player to Watch: Angel Di Maria
Most of the talk surrounding Argentina is about the team's dynamic attacking options, and it's easy to see why. Players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain can change the game in a heartbeat. But their jobs are easier thanks to Di Maria.
The 24-year-old Real Madrid midfielder has established himself as one of the world's best playmakers with some terrific performances over the past few seasons. He illustrated those skills last week with two assists in a 3-0 win over Uruguay.
Argentina will want to dominate possession on the road, which means Di Maria will likely be a busy man on Tuesday. La Albiceleste's qualifying success wouldn't be possible without him.
Key Matchup: Chile back line vs. Lionel Messi
It doesn't matter if it's the club or international level, when Messi is on the field the opponent's game plan starts and ends with keeping him contained. He's a generational talent with a plethora of different ways to make the opposing back line look silly.
Even though the Barcelona sensation hasn't always been able to translate his La Liga success to the national team, he still has 30 goals in 74 appearances. That includes two second-half goals in last week's victory over Uruguay.
He should have a major advantage over an inexperienced Chile back line. Just two defenders on the roster have more than 15 international caps, making the task of slowing down Messi seem like a long shot.
What They're Saying
Even after a key win over Uruguay, Messi was already looking ahead to the next match against Chile. He understands how vital the game will be to locking up a World Cup spot, based on a report from ESPN.
"We mustn't forget that Uruguay are the last Copa America champions, therefore this was a big triumph.
"The squad is stronger every day and we are playing with confidence.
"Now, if we can beat Chile next Tuesday we will be very close to the next World Cup."
Argentina 2, Chile 0
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