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Nov 16, 2021 at 11.30pm UK

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Preview: Argentina vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Argentina vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - South America clash between Argentina and Brazil, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

First meets second in World Cup 2022 CONMEBOL Qualifying on Tuesday night, as Argentina welcome leaders Brazil to the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario.

Lionel Scaloni's side scraped a 1-0 win over Uruguay last time out, while the Selecao's clash with Colombia ended by the same scoreline to see them through to Qatar 2022.

Match preview

Much was made of Argentina's decision to call up six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi for November's fixtures amid his injury woes, but it would be left to another Paris Saint-Germain attacker to propel the Copa America champions to victory over Uruguay.

Angel Di Maria's seventh-minute strike was all that separated the two sides on Friday evening as Argentina kept pace with their fellow powerhouses at the top of the pile, but the job is not done and dusted just yet for Scaloni's in-form crop.

With Scaloni's side still boasting a game in hand over all of the eight teams below them in the rankings, their place at Qatar 2022 should be assured with a positive result this week, with fifth-placed Colombia sat 12 points behind the Albiceleste.

Furthermore, with at least one of third-placed Ecuador and fourth-placed Chile set to drop points this week, Argentina have a prime opportunity to cement their position in second place, where they remain six points adrift of runaway leaders Brazil.

Argentina's stellar defensive resilience has seen them register five clean sheets on the bounce in World Cup qualifying, and the win over Uruguay stretched their unbeaten streak across all tournaments to 26 matches, but their upcoming opponents were the last side to get one over them back in 2019.

Brazil's battle with Colombia would also be decided by just one goal in their 12th clash of World Cup qualifying, as Lyon's Lucas Paqueta netted with 72 minutes on the clock to hand his side their 11th win from 12 in the group.

In doing so, the Selecao became the first CONMEBOL nation to book their place at Qatar 2022 as they lead the way at the top of the rankings, boasting 34 points from a possible 36 and guaranteed to hold top spot no matter what transpires this week.

Selecao boss Tite now ought to take these opportunities to utilise his enviable squad depth and take a closer look at his options before next year's tournament, although there should not be a hint of complacency from Brazil as they aim to maintain their position at the summit.

Brazil travel to San Juan unbeaten in World Cup qualifying since going down 2-0 to Chile in October 2015, and they have conceded just one goal in their last five away games at this stage, but they will need no reminding of what happened the last two times they proceeded to lock horns with Argentina.

Indeed, the most recent clash between the two giants was abandoned after only a few minutes as Argentina's COVID-19 breaches came to light, but the Albiceleste will hope to see lightning strike twice after downing Brazil in this year's Copa America final.

Argentina World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Brazil World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Argentina talisman Messi was fit enough to come off the bench and play the final 15 minutes of his side's win over Uruguay, which Scaloni claimed was to prepare him for the meeting with the Selecao.

Messi could now be deemed ready for a start - although it would be surprising to see him complete the full 90 minutes - with either Lautaro Martinez or Paulo Dybala potentially dropping out after the latter was taken off as a precaution at half time.

Scaloni otherwise has no need to make any alterations from the win over Uruguay, with Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi protecting Emiliano Martinez in goal once more.

As for Brazil, Tite will have to cope without Casemiro due to an accumulation of bookings, with Internacional's Edenilson being called up in his place, and Neymar has been ruled out due to injury.

Fabinho will hope to be given the opportunity to impress in the Real Madrid man's enforced absence, but Fred's spot could be at risk after he was taken off at half time against Colombia.

Even with qualification assured, Tite is unlikely to consider many changes for such a tantalising battle, although Vinicius Junior will hope to come into consideration for a recall up top with Neymar out.

Argentina possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; Lo Celso, Rodriguez, De Paul; Di Maria, Martinez, Messi

Brazil possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Silva, Sandro; Gerson, Fabinho, Paqueta; Raphinha, Jesus, Vinicius Jr

We say: Argentina 1-1 Brazil

Argentina should possess a greater sense of urgency to take maximum points from this historic battle as they aim to qualify for Qatar alongside Brazil, who should not let up despite their guaranteed spot at the World Cup.

It is extremely difficult to separate the two continental powerhouses on this occasion, though, and we expect the spoils to be shared, which could yet be enough for the hosts to confirm their place in next year's tournament.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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