Brazil has had no home audience advantage for some time.
For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil will have home fans in the stadium, when Brazil played against Uruguay in the World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.
Brazil leads the South American qualifiers with 28 points, and Argentina leads by 22 points in 10 games. After their encounters last month were suspended after seven minutes due to the health agreement, both teams completed one less game than the other eight teams.
Argentina, ranked second, led by Lionel Messi and Rodrigo DePaul, will seek to consolidate its rise just five days after beating Uruguay 3-0.
Ecuador and Uruguay had 16 points, but the Ecuadorians won more games and ranked third. Colombia ranked fifth with 15 points. Paraguay is 3 points behind in sixth place, followed by Peru (11), Chile (10), Bolivia (9) and Venezuela (7).
The top four teams in South America will get automatic seats in the World Cup next year. The fifth-ranked team will enter the intercontinental playoffs and compete for a spot in Qatar.
Brazil vs Uruguay
If training in Manaus on Tuesday is important, Brazilian coach Tite will test three new starters in the game against Uruguay. Right back Emerson Royal will replace Danilo, defender Lucas Verissimo will replace Marquinhos, and winger Raphinha will replace Gabriel Barbosa.
Brazil’s unremarkable 3-1 victory over Venezuela and Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Colombia did not show the team’s backbone and added pressure to the organizer Neymar. But there is no doubt that Tite will continue to try his lineup and combination.
A victory will give Brazil 31 points, which is more than any team that has finished fourth in the World Cup since the current format was adopted in 1998. Celeso will have at least six games in the qualifying rounds.
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At the same time, Uruguay apparently gave up the back five defenses used in the 3-0 loss to Argentina. Coach Óscar Tabárez brought the veteran forward combination of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani back to training.
Tabarez lost another defender due to injury on Tuesday, and Ronald Araujo was excluded from the Brazilian game due to a muscle injury. Uruguay has no defender Jose Maria Jiménez and midfielder Giorgio de Alascata.
Approximately 10,000 fans are expected to watch the game at Arena da Amazonia.
Argentina vs Peru
The victory over Peru will bring Argentina and Lionel Messi very close to World Cup seats, which is very different from the team’s experience in recent South American qualifiers.
Head coach Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina team will seek another convincing victory in front of home fans to maintain the momentum since the latest Copa America title in July.
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He also hopes that his 10 players will avoid suspensions before the two difficult rounds that Argentina heads to Uruguay and then host Brazil in November.
If the starters Gonzalo Montiel, Nicolas Otamendi, Rodrigo DePaul, Giovanni Loscelso and Lautaro Martinez win a yellow card against Peru, Will be absent from the game against Uruguay.
At the Buenos Aires Memorial Stadium, five other yellow-carded players may become substitutes: Germain Pezera, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Martinez Quarta , Ekquel Palacios and Nicolas Dominguez.
Scaroni is expected to recall left-back Marcos Acuna, who was replaced by Nicolas Tagliafico in the game against Uruguay. Argentina can also rest midfielders Leandro Paredes and Giovanni Lo Celso.
After losing 1-0 to Bolivia on Sunday, Peru’s chance of qualifying for the World Cup for the second time in a row is getting smaller. Even a victory over Argentina may not be enough for the Peruvians to close the gap with Colombia, which is ranked fifth, and Colombia will play against Ecuador.
Also on Thursday, Bolivia will face Paraguay, and Chile will face the last ranked Venezuela.