Messi and Mascherano with their Argentina team-mates / PHOTO: Facebook Leo Messi

There are twelve FCB players in international action in various parts of the Americas this Tuesday evening. Mascherano, Messi and Alexis are playing crunch World Cup qualifying matches, while Valdés, Alba, Piqué, Sergio, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Pedro and Villa are in New York for a friendly.

Ecuador v Argentina (23.00, CET): Argentina are five points clear at the top of the Conmebol qualifying table and a win in Ecuador tonight would see the side that features both Mascherano and Messi all but mathematically through to next summer’s finals in Brazil. Ecuador suffered a setback against Peru in their last match, but are still third, and will be looking to make the most of the advantage of playing at Quito’s altitude to maintain their place in the four direct qualifying spots. Messi will probably start from the bench, as he did in the 0-0 draw with second-placed Colombia.

Chile v Bolivia (02.30, CET): Chile are currently fourth in the table, and tonight Alexis Sánchez’s side are at home to second-to-last placed Bolivia. Victory away to Paraguay was a major boost for the Chileans four days ago, but they are still locked in a fascinating battle with Venezuela, Peru and Uruguay for the chance to go to Brazil next year.

Ireland v Spain (02.00, CET): The other Barça players on international duty are in New York for a friendly with Ireland, the last before the Confederation Cup, which starts next week. It is almost certain that Valdés, Alba, Sergio Busquets, Pedro and Villa will get to play after sitting out the previous friendly with Haiti (2-1).

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