Argentina v Ecuador preview
Argentina have more than one reason to win their 2010 World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on Sunday, live on Sky Sports 2.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 13/06/08 1:24pm
Argentina have more than one reason to ensure they claim a convincing victory when they resume their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign against Ecuador on Sunday, live on Sky Sports 2.
The Albiceleste are aiming to bounce back after surrendering a half-time lead to lose 2-1 away to Colombia last time out.
And Argentina know that a positive display against Ecuador would be ideal preparation for their grudge match with Brazil just three days later in Belo Horizonte, which will be shown live on Sky Sports 1.
Despite that defeat by Colombia last November, Argentina remain well-placed in the South American standings having kicked off their campaign with three successive wins.
They lie second behind unbeaten Paraguay after four matches, and victory over Ecuador would ensure Argentina remain above their arch rivals as they travel to Brazil.
Riquelme, Veron return
Experienced midfield duo Juan Roman Riquelme and Juan Sebastian Veron have been recalled for the qualifying double-header and will join the squad that beat Mexico 4-1 and drew 0-0 with the USA in recent friendlies.
Riquelme has not played for Argentina this year because of Boca Juniors' Copa Libertadores progress, which ended with a semi-final exit against Brazilian side Fluminense earlier this month, while Veron has been rewarded for some good form with Estudiantes having last played in last year's Copa America final defeat by Brazil.
Liverpool anchorman Javier Mascherano is the only British-based player in the Argentina squad, with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero set to lead the line.
The omens are good for Alfio Basile's men, with Ecuador having never won in Buenos Aires, and the visitors are third-bottom after losing their first three qualifiers.
However, El Tricolor will be in high spirits having beaten Peru 5-1 last time out while several members of their squad have recently helped LDU Quito reach the Copa Libertadores final.
The domestic champions beat three Argentinian teams on the way to their two-legged showdown against Fluminense, which begins on 25th June, and their top players will hope to repeat those exploits and pull off an historic victory for the national team.
Star midfielder Edison Mendez has been recalled after quitting international football in February and criticising Sixto Vizuete's promotion from Under-20 coach, but the PSV Eindhoven man has now apologised.
Reading full-back Ulises de la Cruz has also been recalled after being overlooked for the last two qualifiers, while Wigan winger Antonio Valencia and Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo remain in the squad.