(EFE) – The teams of Argentina and Chile will meet this Thursday in the return of the South American Qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup 2022 after 198 days in a duel that not only faces two candidates to qualify but also the teams that settled two of the last three Cups Americas.
The Chilean team won the 2015 Copa América in Chile and the 2016 Copa América Centenario in the United States by beating the Argentines on penalties.
But in the qualifiers for the last World Cup, Argentina qualified third, beat it twice (1-2 and 1-0) and Chile was sixth and out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In these qualifiers, Brazil leads with 12 points after the four-game match, followed by Argentina (10 points), Ecuador (9), Paraguay (6 and +1 goal difference) and Uruguay (6 and 0 goal difference) ).
Chile is sixth with four units and 0 goal difference.
Colombia has four points (-5 goal difference), Venezuela three and Peru (-6) and Bolivia (-7) only have one point.
ARGENTINA IS READY
The Argentina coach, Lionel Scaloni, has more certainty than doubts because all the usual starters are available and come from having good seasons in their teams.
River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani, who is usually a starter, leaves his post because he still tests positive in the Covid test, and Emiliano Martínez, of the English Aston Villa and chosen the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, will be No. 1,
Scaloni had the majority of the footballers since last week and in the last few days were joined by striker Sergio Agüero and defender Juan Foyth.
The defender Nicolás Otamendi, a fixture in the defense, will not be able to play due to suspension against Chile and in his place will be the debutant Cristian Romero.
Forward Lucas Alario and midfielders Nicolás González and Exequiel Palacios have some physical problems but they have not yet been ruled out.
CHILE LOST VIDAL
Chile will face this match and the next without one of its most important players, midfielder Arturo Vidal, emblem of the 2015 and 2016 American Cups, because he was infected with the coronavirus.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and defender Gary Medel lead a team with several new faces looking to establish themselves in the national team.
Bravo has been an important piece in Betis that managed to qualify to play the next Europa League campaign, but the defender has not had the same presence or continuity at Bologna.
La Roja is coached by the Uruguayan Martín Lasarte, who replaced Reinaldo Rueda, who left the team to take over as Colombia’s coach.
Lasarte debuted on March 26 in a friendly win over Bolivia 2-1.
On the next day, Argentina will visit Colombia and Chile will host Bolivia.
Both games will be played on Tuesday next week.
ARGENTINA: Emiliano Martínez, Juan Foyth, Cristian Romero, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Nicolás Tagliafico; Leandro Paredes, Lucas Ocampos, Rodrigo De Paul; Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María and Lautaro Lautaro Martínez .. Coach: Lionel Scaloni.
CHILI: Claudio Bravo; Paulo Díaz, Guillermo Maripán, Mauricio Isla, Erick Wiemberg, Charles Aranguiz, Tomás Alarcón, Erick Pulgar, César Pinares, Alexis Sánchez and Luis Jiménez. Coach: Martín Lasarte.
REFEREE: the Venezuelan Jesús Valenzuela, assisted by his compatriots Tulio Moreno and Lubin Torrealba.
STADIUM: Sole Mother of Cities, of the province of Santiago del Estero.
HOUR: 21.00 local (00.00 GMT on Friday).