Despite having arguably the world’s best player in Lionel Messi and a new attack-minded coach in Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina is on the verge of missing next year’s World Cup with three qualifying matches remaining.

The problem for the Albiceleste comes down to one thing: they just can’t score.

Runners-up to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, Argentina drew 0-0 with Uruguay in a qualifier on Thursday, and lost 2-0 to lowly Bolivia before that.

Argentina has only 15 goals in 15 matches, and only Bolivia is worse with 13.

There will be national outcry if Argentina fails to win on Tuesday at home against Venezuela, the worst team in the region. Venezuela is the only team in the South American confederation that has never reached the finals of the World Cup.

“We can’t just play for the 11 on the field, we have to play for 40 million Argentines,” Sampaoli said.

The arrival of Sampaoli in June, replacing Edgardo Bauza, was supposed to solve the problem.

Successful as the coach of Chile and Spanish club Sevilla, Sampaoli dropped Gonzalo Higuain from the team. He was part of a squad that had lost three consecutive finals: the 2014 World Cup, and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals — both times against Chile.

Against Uruguay, he teamed Messi up front with young forwards Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi. He left defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano on the bench and went with more attacking players in midfield including Lucas Biglia, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Acuna and Guido Pizarro.

The three substitutes he used were also attack-minded.

It made no difference as Argentina still failed to score.

Brazil has already qualified from South America, and the next three teams in the standings also advance automatically. A fourth team can earn a berth in a playoff against the No. 5 team from Asia.

Brazil has 36 points followed by: Colombia (25), Uruguay (24), Chile (23), Argentina (23), Peru (21), Paraguay (21), and Ecuador (20).

“We had to win (against Uruguay) because of our spot in the standings. This result still leaves us out of directly qualifying,” Sampaoli said. “The truth is we have to try to find that goal against teams that don’t give us much space.”