Brazil and Argentina are on the cusp of qualifying for Qatar as Chile looking to make a late surge towards qualification

(Football news) Brazil hosts Colombia in Sao Paulo, knowing a victory will book their place in Qatar next year. Brazil have a near perfect record so far, with 31 points from 11 matches and can qualify even with a draw if Uruguay lose at home to Argentina. The Selecao will be without injured Robert Firmino as they will again heavily rely on Anthony and Raphinha to provide fresh impetus in the team. Tite caused a surprise by calling Philipe Coutinho into the squad after the 29 year old was not called up for a year, the Brazilian fans were a bit baffled with this decision as Vinicius Jr who is in great form with Real Madrid wasn’t called up.

Tite in his press conference said, “We have two important matches against two teams that, for me, are of the highest level. A good performance and a good result against Colombia will provide us with a good preparation for Argentina."
Coutinho said, "It feels like it did the first time, that's how I see it every time I'm in the squad. It's an honor to wear this jersey, I have struggled for playing time this season at my club”.

Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta told a news conference Tuesday “Colombia is always a very tough rival. They have always played very hard in these games,”. “Every match against them is a hard-fought one.”

Colombia striker Miguel Borja said, “We are not going for a draw, we want to beat them and have due care. Other teams have gone at them and then they concede three, four times. We have the potential to win.”

Argentina can also secure their place for the World Cup next year this month, although they need other results to go their way also. La Albiceleste will have to do it without their star player Lionel Messi, who is suffering from knee and hamstring problems and has missed his last two games for PSG. Argentina take on Uruguay and Brazil in their two matches, Uruguay will be without their talisman Edinson Cavani and Federico Valverde as Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez finds himself under pressure, with fans believing that his record breaking tenure of 15 years might come to an end. 

Tabárez said in response to questions about his job security, “I don't think about that, These decisions are for officials. I have a contract, I have had one for 15 years and my obligations are very specific."

Also read: Brazil rout past Uruguay to virtually confirm their position in next years World Cup as Argentina narrowly win against Peru

High flying Ecuador take on Venezuela in a bid to consolidate their third position in the table as the host have been overachieving so far this campaign, surpassing all the expectation and are on the brink of qualification. Ecuador will need to win without their top scorer Enner Valencia as a ligament injury is preventing him from getting a national call up. For Venezuela they also have problems upfront, Salomon Rodon and Josef Martinez will again be out for this crucial match. The other two matches this week are between Peru vs Bolivia and Paraguay vs Chile.


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