Preview: Brazil vs Argentina – prediction, team news, lineups, where to watch
In a rematch of this summer’s Copa América final, Brazil and Argentina will meet on Sunday in qualifying for the World Cup.
The visitors clinched the title with a 1-0 win in Brazil, but the hosts are top of the qualifying group with a perfect record in their seven games.
Brazil was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in the quarter-finals, as they suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of Belgium, and will be eager to return in style next year.
La Selecao bounced back by winning the Copa América the following year, defeating Peru 3-1 in the final, before kicking off the new World Cup qualifying campaign in style with back-to-back victories over Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Paraguay.
That led them to this year’s Copa América tournament, and Tite’s men looked relatively strong throughout, struggling to reach the final with close victories over Chile and Peru, only to come up short at home against opponents from the Sunday in the final.
In their first competitive game since that loss, Brazil earned their seventh consecutive World Ranking victory on Friday, when Everton Ribeiro scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Chile.
Now they will look to extend that to eight consecutive victories and exact revenge on their main rivals for the defeat of the Copa América when they host Lionel Scaloni’s men in Sao Paulo.
After a draw against Chile in their opener, Argentina got underway in the Copa América, completing the group stage with victories over Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia to lead the group and book a quarter-final tie with Ecuador.
Rodrigo De Paul, Lautaro Martínez, and Lionel Messi all got on the scoreboard in a 3-0 win in that game, before Emiliano Martínez’s heroics saw them triumph on a penalty shootout after drawing 1-1 with Colombia in the semifinal.
That saw them face rivals Brazil in the final, and La Albiceleste held strong to defend a 1-0 lead throughout the game after Ángel Di María’s opener to win their 15th Copa América title.
After winning three and drawing three of their first six World Cup Qualifiers, Scaloni’s team returned to action with a 3-1 victory over Venezuela on Friday.
While it took La Albiceleste a while to knock down their hosts, Lautaro Martínez eventually put them ahead at the edge of the break, and Joaquín Correa and Ángel Correa scored goals in the second half to make their position comfortable before Yeferson Soteldo scored a goal. Consolation of the penalty spot for your opponents in injury time.
After the disappointment of a knockout outing at the 2018 World Cup, they will be eager to strengthen their position to make it to next year’s tournament, with the possibility of narrowing the gap between them and Brazil to just three points with a victory.
Brazil possible starting lineup:
Weverton; Danilo, Militao, Marquinhos, Sandro; Ribeiro, Casemiro, Guimaraes, Vinicius; Barbosa, Neymar
Argentina possible starting lineup:
E Martinez; Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Rodriguez, Lo Celso; Di Maria, Messi, L Martinez
We say: Brazil 1-1 Argentina
While Argentina may have the advantage of its English-based players, compared to Selecao’s long list of absentees, it will still be a major task to win on their travels.
We see the two teams playing a draw that suits both of them, as Brazil will be eager to return the favor after the Copa América, while also ensuring that their robust system limits the chances of an exciting Argentine team.