La Albiceleste went agonisingly close to a third title four years ago and the Argentina World Cup 2018 odds suggest they will again be among the leading contenders for outright glory in Russia.
The 1978 and 1986 champions secured three hard-fought wins during the Brazil 2014 pool stage, before seeing off Switzerland, Belgium and Holland in the knockout rounds without conceding a single goal.
Argentina’s rock-solid defence also kept Germany at bay in the decider until Mario Gotze broke their hearts by striking in extra-time.
The road to Russia was a rocky one, with Gerardo Martino and Edgardo Bauza both moving on following poor results.
However, a 3-1 away win over Ecuador in the final set of qualifying fixtures saw them eventually secure third place in the South American section.
New boss Sampaoli steered Chile to Copa America glory in 2015 and many pundits are hoping his high-tempo tactics will bring out the best in La Albiceleste when making Argentina World Cup 2018 predictions.
March’s 6-1 friendly loss to Spain in Madrid gives cause for concern but we’ll be backing them to show that was just a blip in our Argentina World Cup 2018 betting tips.
Odds correct on date of publication: 21/05/2018
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi continues to be Argentina’s talisman and it was his hat-trick which helped them come from behind to beat Ecuador in Quito.
The Barcelona superstar was voted player of the tournament at Brazil 2014, but the feeling is that we have yet to see him truly sparkle on the sport’s biggest international stage.
Juventus hitman Gonzalo Higuain and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero add more valuable experience up front, if fully fit.
Paulo Dybala is now in his mid-20s and ready to take on more attacking responsibility if required, while Angel Di Maria can always produce moments of magic.
At the back, Manchester United reserve goalkeeper Sergio Romero is closing in on a century of caps and rarely lets anyone down.
Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo are no-nonsense defenders who will do their job.
Rank (world): 4
WC appearances: 16
Best effort: Won in 1978 and 1986
Road to Russia
Ecuador 1-3 ARG
ARG 0-0 Peru
ARG 1-1 Venezuela
Uruguay 0-0 ARG
Bolivia 2-0 ARG
ARG 1-0 Chile
ARG 3-0 Colombia
Brazil 3-0 ARG
Sergio Romero (GK)
Nicolas Otamendi (D)
Marcos Rojo (D)
Angel Di Maria (M)
Paulo Dybala (F)
Gonzalo Higuain (F)
Lionel Messi (F)
Jorge Sampaoli – ARG