The best of a new round of South American Qualifiers


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The best of a new round of South American Qualifiers

ESPN.com brings you the best of date 11 of the South American Qualifiers, which will be played this Thursday.

THURSDAY 7

PARAGUAY-ARGENTINA

20 HS (ARG-URU) 19 HS (CHI-PAR) 18 HS (COL-PER-ECU-MEX)

Argentina (18), which is one game behind second in the table six points behind Brazil, will seek to extend the streak and unbeaten on its visit to Paraguay. The albiceleste team arrives at its best, without a doubt. After being crowned champion in the last edition of the Copa América, defeating Brazil at the Maracana, Lionel Scaloni’s team returned to the Qualifiers with a resounding 3-0 defeat of Bolivia.

Then came the role and the suspension against Brazil, a match that is still pending. But the DT will have Messi, Di María, Lautaro Martínez and the best to face Paraguay (11). Eduardo Berisso’s men march in sixth place in the table and are two behind Ecuador and Colombia, who are currently entering the World Cup and the playoffs directly, respectively. Paraguay is coming off a 2-1 win over Venezuela to snap a six-game winless streak.

URUGUAY COLOMBIA

20 HS (ARG-URU) 19 HS (CHI-PAR) 18 HS (COL-PER-ECU-MEX)

One of the most interesting matches of the date will be the one played by Uruguay (15) and Colombia (13). The Charrúas are in the World Cup qualification zone, while Colombia fights to get out of the playoffs and enters the direct qualification zone. Those of Maestro Tabárez add five unbeaten matches (three draws and two wins, the latter consecutively against Bolivia and Ecuador) and seek to consolidate at the top. They will have the return of two of their great leaders in attack: none other than Cavani and Suárez.

On the side of Colombia, the team raised the hand of Reinaldo Rueda, who replaced Carlos Queiroz after the hard defeat suffered by 6 to 1 against Ecuador. Since Rueda took office, the Cafeteros have played five unbeaten matches with two wins and three draws. On the last date, Colombia achieved an important 3 to 1 victory against Chile, a direct rival that now runs from far behind. Without Borja, injured, Rueda will not lack variants on offense, since he will have Duván Zapata, Roger Martínez, Rafael Santos Borré and Radamel Falcao García at his disposal.

VENEZUELA-BRAZIL

20.30 HS (ARG-URU) 19.30 HS (CHI-PAR) 18.30 HS (COL-PER-ECU-MEX)

A duel of opposites. Thus can be defined the clash between Venezuela (4), last in the standings, and Brazil (24), leader and undefeated in the South American Qualifiers, which also has a pending match against Argentina. La Vinotinto lost four of the last five games, accumulated 15 goals against, and with five goals it is the least effective forward of the tournament.

For its part, Brazil, in addition to having won all the games, is the team with the highest score (19) and the one with the fewest goals (two). Tité, the coach of the five-time champions, will not be able to count on Neymar, who reached the five yellow cards, but this time he will have the Premier League players, who were not on the last qualifying date. Thus, the coach will reinforce his valued squad with footballers of the stature of Gabriel Jesús, Thiago Silva, Fred and Fabinho, as well as figures such as Casemiro, Marquinhos and Vinicius.

ECUADOR-BOLIVIA

21.30 HS (ARG-URU) 20.30 HS (CHI-PAR) 19.30 HS (COL-PER-ECU-MEX)

Ecuador (13) will have the chance to recover against Bolivia (6) and score valuable points in the face of the great goal of reaching the World Cup in Qatar. Gustavo Alfaro’s team has been doing a good campaign, although he still regrets the defeat on the hour suffered on the last qualifying date against Uruguay. Ecuador got off to a good start (they won three of the first four games), but then their performance dropped (they won one of the last five). Bolivia, meanwhile, is the last to last and only prevailed 3-1 at home against Venezuela, on the seventh date.

PERU-CHILE

22 HS (ARG-URU) 21 HS (CHI-PAR) 20 HS (COL-PER-ECU-MEX)

Peru (8) and Chile (7) will play a decisive match between two direct rivals in the search to get closer, at least, to the Repechage position. It will be a very important clash because a loss could leave the loser too far from the fight for a ticket to the World Cup. The irregularity marked both teams in this way, and that can cost them dearly.

Peru does not raise its head from the hand of Ricardo Gareca, with whom he won two of the nine games; Chile has not triumphed since the third date, and has already changed DT: instead of Reinaldo Rieda, the Uruguayan Martín Lasarte took over. Those from Gareca will have Farfán and Guerrero as references in a true final, while Chile will have important absences, such as those of Vidal, Vargas and Mena, among others.


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