South America enters its 12th round of World Cup qualifying fixtures on Thursday, and Jake Osgathorpe shares his best bets.
1.5pts Colombia to beat Ecuador at 3/4 (BetVictor, William Hill)
1.5pts Argentina to win to nil v Peru at 20/21 (Bet365)
We have a huge game on our hands in Colombia on Thursday, as the hosts sit fifth in World Cup qualifying and just one point behind visitors Ecuador.
Colombia come into this on the back of a goalless draw with runaway leaders Brazil, a good result, while Ecuador lost to bottom side Venezuela despite taking the lead.
Los Cafeteros have been a very tough team to beat in this qualifying campaign, losing just two of 11 with one of those defeats being a 6-1 loss in Ecuador last November. They will be out for revenge here.
Since that loss, Colombia are unbeaten in seven qualifiers, and look to have found some stability in their backline.
Ecuador will have trouble exploiting them this time around, especially on the road.
They have lost four of five away qualifiers, with their only win coming in the altitude of Bolivia, struggling to create chances and score goals on the road.
Ecuador have managed just four goals in five away matches, with three of those coming against Bolivia, so they will certainly struggle against Colombia's backline.
The question then is; can Colombia break Ecuador down? I think the answer is yes. They have enough firepower to get on the score sheet, so backing COLOMBIA TO WIN looks the bet.
In Duvan Zapata they have one of the best goalscorers in Europe, and the rejuvenated Radamel Falcao - who has scored three in four for Rayo Vallecano in La Liga - lead a dangerous front line that should breach Ecuador.
Score prediction: Colombia 1-0 Ecuador (Sky Bet odds: 5/1)
Argentina bounced back from a disappointing 0-0 draw with Paraguay by thrashing Uruguay 3-0 in their latest World Cup qualifier, with Lionel Messi again on the score sheet.
Peru suffered defeat at Bolivia in what was a blow for their qualifying hopes, with that loss leaving them four points behind the top five.
Messi and co. have been in incredible form since the 2018 World Cup disappointment, and come into this game unbeaten in 24 international games, winning 16, and keeping clean sheets in 12 of those 24 games and winning.
Defence is a strong suit, while in attack La Abceleste boast some serious firepower.
Peru are in town, and this is a fairly big game for them, with defeat here likely leaving them further adrift of the top five.
They have lost three of five away games, with all of those defeats coming to nil at Chile, Brazil and Bolivia, while two of their six home defeats have come without the Peruvians scoring.
Peru have netted just 10 times in 11 matches, having major struggles creating chances. With that being the case, the last team they would want to face right now is Argentina, who have their defence in order.
With all of that in mind, ARGENTINA TO WIN TO NIL appeals greatly.
Six of Argentina's last 10 matches have seen this bet win, and the gulf in class all over the pitch should be evident in this game in a comfortable home win.
Score prediction: Argentina 2-0 Peru (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Odds correct at 0900 BST (12/10/21)
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