There is plenty for fans of the beautiful game to look forward to this weekend, with lower-tier matches in the UK boosted by the World Cup qualifiers being played in Europe and beyond. There are many exciting matches on the schedule, but one that is sure to catch the attention of armchair fans everywhere involves two big teams and two countries that are more than good enough to go to Qatar next year and win the World Cup.
Brazil and Argentina clash in the qualifying phase with this match on Sunday at 20:00 GMT. The teams involved, the fact that it is a competitive game and the prime time slot means this game will draw a huge TV audience with fans around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the top names of the sports including Neymar for Brazil and Lionel Messi for Argentina. Will the Samba Boys dance for joy full-time or will the colors white and sky blue fly high? We’ll know on Sunday evening.
The mutual stats associated with this fixture are just as interesting as you’d expect. Brazil and Argentina have met 54 times in the past, with Brazil dominating. They have 25 wins with Argentina currently on 14 wins and 15 draws. The most recent match saw Argentina take a 1-0 win in the Copa America in July this year with Angel Di Maria winning goal that day in 22 minutes. The last two games gave Argentina a 1-0 victory. Are we going to see the treble?
Brazil out for revenge
Qualification in South America is very different from what we know in Europe. Instead of several smaller groups of about six teams, the league in South America has one large qualifying ranking with 10 teams. They each play against each other twice, once at home and once away before the best performing teams automatically progress to the World Cup or the play-offs. Both Brazil and Argentina will be hopeful to secure an automatic qualifying spot and seal their fate with plenty of time to spare.
Brazil top the table in round seven and with a stunning 100% record of six wins from their first six games. They have already scored 16 goals and conceded only two, reminding the spectator of what they are capable of when they play the best they can. They are already six points ahead of second-place Argentina and nine points better than Ecuador, which is third on the ladder.
Continue their winning ways and Brazil will take a huge step towards qualifying for the actual competition. That would allow the backroom staff to solidify their plans for Qatar and the coaching staff to try out new players, formations and tactics. This is a huge game for Brazil, one they can afford to lose, but one they definitely want to win at home.
Argentina needs the win
Argentina goes to their rivals’ home knowing that this is a game they must win. They are second in the group and know that the win would put them within three points of their opponents and the current pace setters, but a defeat would clear Brazil by nine points and tie things after seven games. The pressure is all on the away team and football fans everywhere will be interested to see how they handle it.
Argentina has a dozen points on the board from a possible 18 thanks to three wins and three draws. The visitors scored nine goals and conceded five. They haven’t suffered defeat yet, but if they don’t finish teams from a winning position, it could continue to haunt them. Argentina is three points better than Ecuador in third place and four above Uruguay in fourth place. If you lose here, they could drop down the pecking order and their chances of reaching Qatar 2022 hang by a thread.
Argentina are preparing for this competition without winning their last two starts and with just one win in their last four starts. Three draws out of four will worry the coaching staff, but it’s far too early to hit the panic button, and another slice of Brazil’s spoils wouldn’t be the end of the world for their chances. Not many teams win on Brazilian soil. Is this Argentine side good enough to achieve that? Their last competitive game was a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the Copa America to lift the trophy, after beating Colombia 3-2 on penalties in the semi-final.
Prediction Brazil v Argentina
It is difficult to beat Brazil on their form in this competition. They were beaten by Argentina in the Copa America earlier this summer, but they were clear in the qualifiers. The team has yet to reach top gear, and that leaves their rivals on edge. If they are at their best they will be good enough to win the points in this match.
Argentina will take heart from that narrow win over Brazil, but know that this is a different game and their hosts are out for revenge. Argentina is under pressure to perform as it has let itself down in drawing recent qualifiers. They need to be more relentless in attack and find a way to turn one point into three by killing opponents.
Chances of winning World Cup qualifiers
The pre-match bet at 22bet on this World Cup qualifier has Brazil priced at 1.9 with the draw at 4.26 and Argentina available at 3.42. Betting will be available on the site until kick-off before the market switches to in-play betting. 22bet members can then gamble for the 90 minutes with odds on many of the most popular market updates to reflect game play and score.
Some of the markets you can expect to see before the match and in the game are correct score, both teams to score, handicap, total number of goals, goalscorer at any time and half time/full time.
Be sure to bet on Brazil v Argentina with 22Bet!