Brazil will have revenge on its mind as it gets set to face archrival Argentina in a World Cup qualifier, a rematch of the 2021 Copa America final on July 10. Lionel Messi and Argentina pulled off the 1-0 upset win at Brazil’s Estadio Maracana to win its first men’s title of any kind since 1993.
Argentina may have won the South American championship, but it’s the Brazilians who lead the South American World Cup qualifying standings with a perfect 7-0-0 record (21 points), six points ahead of second-place Argentina (4-0-3, 15 points). Brazil’s latest victory was a 1-0 win in Chile, but the Selecao are tackling the September qualifiers without 11 players who were not released by their European clubs for qualifying due to quarantine requirements (nine English Premier League players and two based in Russia). Replacements were called up in their stead and the team didn’t miss a beat, though Argentina will prove a tougher test than Chile.
The Argentines don’t have the same roster issues with their four England-based players, who made the trip to South America despite their clubs’ wishes. With essentially the same squad that won the 2021 Copa America in July, Argentina continued to ride the wave of strong results with a convincing 3-1 road victory on Thursday in Venezuela. Argentina was helped by a first-half red card that reduced Venezuela to 10 men, but the Albiceleste were well in control of the match and got goals from three different players to extend its overall unbeaten streak to 21 matches (13-0-8).
All eyes will be on Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar, who both played 90 minutes on Thursday. Both looked rusty in those matches as they continue to make their way back to their best form following a lengthy break after the Copa America. They both played their first competitive minutes of the season only a week ago in France’s Ligue 1.
How to watch: Brazil vs. Argentina
The match will be available exclusively on fuboTV.
The qualifier will be held at the Arena Corinthians, also known as the Neo Química Arena, in Sao Paulo. After the match was originally greenlighted for 12,000 fans (25 percent capacity), the short turnaround to sell tickets and verify tests forced organizers to cancel ticket sales and limit attendance to just 1,500 guests.
Brazil vs. Argentina: projected lineups
Brazil starting center back Marquinhos will be out due to suspension after picking up his second yellow card against Chile. His replacement at center back will likely be Benfica’s Lucas Verissimo, who would be making his debut. Soon-to-be 37-year-old Miranda is also an option.
Tite could also opt to bring in Everton Ribeiro in place of Vinicius Jr., whose speed could make for a solid attacking option off the bench. Gerson, who subbed in for Bruno Guimaraes against Chile, is projected to start alongside Casemiro in central midfield. And Dani Alves (for Danilo) or Guilherme Arana (for Alex Sandro) could bring some fresh legs at the two fullback positions).
Brazil projected lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): Weverton-GK — Alex Sandro, Lucas Verissimo, Eder Militao, Danilo — Gerson, Casemiro — Lucas Paqueta, Neymar, Everton Ribeiro — Gabriel Barbosa
Brazil projected subs (12): Everson-GK, Santos-GK, Dani Alves, Guilherme Arana, Miranda, Leo Ortiz, Edenilson, Bruno Guimaraes, Artur, Matheus Cunha, Hulk, Vinícius Jr
Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni gets Cristian “Cuti” Romero and Leandro Paredes back from suspension, and they’re expected to slot into the starting lineup. In his pregame news conference he promised other changes based on the short turnaround between matches. Argentine media speculated those could come at fullback, with Gonzalo Montiel and Nicolas Tagliafico getting the start.
Argentina projected lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Emiliano Martinez — Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico — Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso — Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez, Angel Di Maria
Argentina projected subs (12): Juan Musso-GK, Geronimo Rulli-GK, Marcos Acuna, German Pezzella, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Nahuel Molina, Nicolas Dominguez, Guido Rodriguez, Exequiel Palacios, Paulo Dybala, Angel Correa, Joaquin Correa, Nicolas Gonzalez, Alejandro “Papu” Gomez
Brazil vs. Argentina: Odds & prediction
The rivalry is real between these two nations, but this game will have a different feel compared to the high-stakes Copa America final, which was Lionel Messi’s first trophy with Argentina.
Brazil is the oddsmakers’ favorite, but only because it’s playing at home. That home-field advantage should be nullified given the absence of fans (only 1,500 “guests” will be permitted). More importantly, Brazil is also missing a host of starting-caliber players; it suffered for large stretches of Thursday’s match against Chile, once again preferring to pounce on the break and allow the opposition to dictate play with possession.
Argentina looked like a more cohesive side on Thursday, and it also has a full-strength roster at its disposal. Even if the coach decides to make wholesale changes to the starting lineup, the Argentines have the quality to pull off a victory. So an Argentina win (+240) or Argentina draw no bet (+130) could make for interesting plays.
These teams historically play tight matches, but given the status of both squads and potential lineup changes, Sunday’s match could be an anomaly. Goal totals and spreads should probably be saved for live betting. That said, an Argentina clean sheet at +200 (whether in a draw or a victory) is attractive, given how short-handed Brazil is in attack.
Prediction: Brazil 0, Argentina 1
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
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