World Champions Argentina will begin their title defence with a home fixture against Ecuador in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers at the Estadio Mas Monumental in Buenos Aires. The Argentina vs Ecuador FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers will kick off at 5:30 Indian Standard Time (IST) on Friday, September 8.

Since winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 in December last year, the Argentina national football team has been unbeaten in the four friendlies that they were a part of. 

The Lionel Messi-led side defeated Panama (2-0), Curacao (7-0), Australia (2-0) and Indonesia (2-0).

This will be La Albiceleste’s first official match since clinching the coveted FIFA World Cup title.

Argentina have few injury concerns as Paulo Dybala and Emi Buendia will miss the Ecuador clash due to injuries. 

The likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Marcos Acuna and Lucas Ocampos have been dropped from the squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

Captain Lionel Messi is expected to make his 176th appearance for the Argentina national team against Ecuador. The 36-year-old has already netted 10 goals and provided three assists for his new club Inter Miami in the United States.

On the other hand, Ecuador national football team will look to bounce back after being knocked out in the Group Stage of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

However, Ecuador have qualified for the four of the last six FIFA World Cups and will aim to make a good start in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

Ecuador head into the Argentina game after winning their last three matches. The Félix Sánchez-coached team beat Australia (2-1), Bolivia (1-0) and Costa Rica (3-1) in their last three friendlies.

For the visitors, star forward Enner Valencia will be the player to watch out for. The accomplished striker has scored 40 goals in 79 appearances for Ecuador.

Argentina vs Ecuador football head-to-head

Argentina have a superior head-to-head record against Ecuador in international football, winning 22 of the 38 matches that they have played so far. Ecuador have registered only five victories while 11 matches have ended in draws.

The last time these two sides met, Argentina and Ecuador played a 1-1 draw in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers clash at the Estadio Monumental in Ecuador. 

While Julian Alvarez opened the scoring for Argentina in the 24th minute, Enner Valencia equalised for the hosts in the 93rd minute of the game.

Where to watch Argentina vs Ecuador FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers live in India?

Live streaming of Argentina vs Ecuador FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers will be available on DAZN app and website in India.

There will be no live telecast of Argentina vs Ecuador FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers on any TV channel in India.

Photo credit: Alamy