There’s plenty for lovers of the beautiful game to look forward to this weekend with lower league games in the United Kingdom boosted by the World Cup qualifiers played in Europe and further afield. There are many exciting matches on the schedule but one that is sure to catch the attention of armchair fans everywhere involves two major teams and two nations that are more than good enough to go to Qatar next year and win the World Cup.
Brazil and Argentina clash in the qualifying stage with this game set for a 20:00 GMT kick-off on Sunday. The teams involved, the fact it’s a competitive match and the prime time slot means this game will pull in a huge TV audience with fans worldwide hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s top names, including Neymar for Brazil and Lionel Messi for Argentina. Will the Samba Boys be dancing with joy at full time or will the White and Sky Blue colours be flying high? We’ll find out on Sunday evening.
The head-to-head stats associated with this fixture are as interesting as you would expect. Brazil and Argentina have met 54 times in the past with Brazil dominating. They have amassed 25 wins with Argentina currently on 14 wins and 15 draws. The most recent game produced a 1-0 win for Argentina in July of this year in the Copa America with the winning goal that day scored by Angel Di Maria on 22 minutes. The last two games have produced a 1-0 win for Argentina. Are we about to see the treble?
Brazil out for revenge
Qualifying in South America is quite different to what we know in Europe. Instead of several smaller groups of around six teams, in South America the competition has one large qualifying league table with 10 teams. They each play each other twice, once at home and once away before the best performing teams progress either automatically to the World Cup or into the playoffs. Both Brazil and Argentina will be hopeful of grabbing an automatic qualification place and sealing their fate with plenty of time to spare.
Brazil enter round seven on top of the table and with a stunning 100% record of six wins from their opening six games. They have already scored 16 goals and conceded just two which serves as a reminder to the watching world exactly what they are capable of when playing to the best of their ability. They are already six points clear of Argentina in second place and nine points better off than Ecuador who sit third in the ladder.
Continue their winning ways and Brazil will take a massive step towards qualifying for the competition proper. That would allow the backroom staff to begin firming up 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 will definitely want to win at home.
Argentina need the win
Argentina head to the home of their rivals knowing this is a must-win game for them. They are second in the pool and know victory would move them to within three points of their opponents and the current pace setters but defeat would see Brazil go nine clear and tie things up after seven matches. The pressure is all on the away team, and football fans everywhere will be interested to see how they cope with it.
Argentina has a dozen points on the board from a possible 18 thanks to three wins and three draws. The visitors have scored nine goals and conceded five. They haven’t suffered defeat yet, but a failure to finish teams off from a winning position could come back to haunt them. Argentina is three points better than Ecuador in third place and four above Uruguay in fourth place. Lose here, and they could tumble down the pecking order, and their chances of reaching Qatar 2022 will be hanging by a thread.
Argentina prepares for this game without winning their last two starts and with just one victory in their last four goes. Three draws in four will worry the coaching staff, but it’s far too early to push the panic button, and another share of the spoils in Brazil wouldn’t be the end of the world for their chances. Not many teams win on Brazilian soil. Is this Argentinian side good enough to achieve that? Their last competitive match was a 1-0 win over Brazil in the Copa America to lift the trophy, having beaten Colombia 3-2 on penalties in the semi-finals.
Brazil v Argentina prediction
It’s difficult to oppose Brazil on their form in this competition. They were beaten by Argentina in the Copa America earlier this summer, but they have been faultless in the qualifiers. The team are yet to hit 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 this is another game, and their hosts will be out for revenge. Argentina are under pressure to perform, having let themselves down when drawing recent qualifiers. They must be more ruthless in attack and find a way to turn one point into three by killing off opponents.
World Cup qualifier odds
The pre-match betting at 22bet on this World Cup qualifier has Brazil priced at 1.9 with the draw 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 throughout the 90 minutes with odds on many of the most popular markets updates to reflect the flow of play and the score.
Some of the markets you can expect to find pre-match and in-play include correct score, both teams to score, handicap, total goals, anytime goalscorer and half time/full time.
Make sure to bet on Brazil v Argentina with 22Bet!