Monday, November 15
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Nov 12, 2021 at 12.30am UK
Paqueta (72')
Fred (34'), Neymar (74'), Casemiro (84'), Junior (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Mojica (23'), Barrios (29'), Cuadrado (43')

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

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

Two heavyweights of South American football clash on Thursday evening as Brazil take on Colombia at the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo for the latest round of World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

The hosts remain undefeated and top of the table, whilst their opponents are hanging onto the final automatic qualification spot in fourth.

Match preview

Brazil have a near perfect record with 10 wins and one draw from their 11 qualifiers to this point, ignoring the bizarre abandoned match with Argentina back in early September.

That one draw came, in fact, during the reverse fixture in Colombia one month ago, where the two sides played out a 0-0 draw which featured an engrossing final half an hour as both sides unsuccessfully pushed for a winner.

That result came between two good wins for the Selecao - first, a late comeback to beat Venezuela 3-1 after having trailed for an hour, and then a 4-1 thrashing of Uruguay in their most recent game.

Neymar opened the scoring after 10 minutes, with Raphinha adding a goal in each half and Gabriel Barbosa putting the icing on the cake after Luis Suarez had grabbed a consolation for the visitors, taking their unbeaten run in World Cup Qualifying to a remarkable 28 games since a 2-0 defeat to Chile in October 2015.

Tite's side are equally impressive at both ends of the pitch, with their 26 goals a record high in the group and their four conceded goals unsurprisingly the lowest.

Brazil need just one point to secure at least a playoff spot, and if they win on Thursday - and Uruguay fail to win their next game - they will be guaranteed a place in Qatar with six games to spare.

Colombia's campaign has recently been plagued by a spate of draws - five of their last six games have resulted in a stalemate, and the three most recent of those have ended 0-0.

The draw with Brazil was respectable considering the opposition, and a 0-0 away at Uruguay was not a disaster, but an inability to find the net is really starting to hurt Los Cafeteros.

Equally, their defensive record is not the best, with much of the damage having come from their shocking 6-1 loss against Ecuador just under a year ago.

Colombia's spectacular run to the quarter-finals in 2014 and their presence at the last tournament in Russia mean it is easy to forget that they failed to qualify for three consecutive World Cups between 2002 and 2010.

Progress this campaign is far from guaranteed in such a tight group, with third place and ninth place separated by just six points.

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

Brazil form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Team News

This international break sees a call-up to the Brazil squad for Philippe Coutinho, who returns to the Selecao for the first time in over a year after having earned some more game time at Barcelona prior to the departure of Ronald Koeman.

There was also a surprise omission in the shape of Vinicius Junior, who misses out despite having been in great form for Real Madrid.

It is Gabriel Jesus who looks set to lead the line, supported in a 4-2-3-1 formation by Raphinha, Neymar and Lucas Paqueta.

For Colombia, Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Davinson Sanchez may start despite being in and out of the English club's squad this season, as fellow defender Oscar Murillo has been left out of the squad due to injury.

Radamel Falcao has also missed out through injury, with Luis Diaz, Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata the most likely attacking trio.

Brazil possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Royal, Silva, Marquinhos, Sandro; Fabinho, Fred; Paqueta, Neymar, Raphinha; Jesus

Colombia possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Mojica, Sanchez, Mina, Cuadrado; Uribe, Barrios, Quintero; Diaz, Muriel, Zapata

We say: Brazil 2-1 Colombia

Whilst Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw in their last meeting, we are backing the home side to continue their excellent form and subject Colombia, who are missing a few important players, to a narrow loss.

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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