Rivals to Lock Horns in South American Thriller

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World Cup qualifying is almost at an end and there are still several South American teams battling it out to make Qatar next year!

Lionel Messi

South American World Cup qualifying continues on Tuesday night and the headline draw will undoubtedly be Argentina’s clash with Brazil in San Juan.

Brazil have already qualified for the finals following their victory over Colombia on Thursday. Their fierce rivals, Argentina, could also book their place in Qatar if results go their way.

Even if La Albiceleste are forced to wait to have their qualification confirmed, it certainly feels like a case of when not if, but the same cannot be said for the other teams battling it out for the remaining automatic qualification spots, as well as the inter-confederation playoff place.

Argentina to Edge Past Brazil

Argentina and Brazil have dominated this qualification campaign in South America, with both sides unbeaten in their 12 matches to date, but with 11 wins and one draw, it is the latter that top the group and have already qualified.

There should certainly be a party atmosphere in the Brazil camp ahead of Tuesday’s match, but with key players such as Neymar and Casemiro set to be missing, it may not be a full-strength side that takes to the field.

The onus is certainly on Argentina to win the contest and take a giant step towards ensuring their own qualification, and recent history does favour La Albiceleste, as they have won the last two meetings between the great rivals, including this year’s Copa America final in July.

Lionel Scaloni’s side also boast an impressive home record in World Cup qualifiers. They are unbeaten in their last 10 such matches and, with Lionel Messi set to start on Tuesday, look good value at 6/5 to take the three points.

Key Fixture Set for Santiago

The battle for the remaining automatic qualification places looks set to go down to the wire and there will be a key fixture taking place in Santiago on Tuesday, with Chile set to host Ecuador.

Ecuador sit third in the standings, four points clear of a trio of teams that includes a Chile side that appears to be hitting form at the right time, as they have won three qualifiers on the spin.

La Roja also boast an incredible home record against Ecuador, as they have never lost to their South American rivals on their own patch – a run that stretches 30 matches and 82 years,

Chile are priced at 4/5 to extend that remarkable sequence on Tuesday, while Ecuador’s poor away record is not just reserved for this fixture, as they have won only one and lost 10 of their last 13 World Cup qualifiers on the road.

Uruguay Could Come Unstuck in La Paz

Uruguay sit alongside Chile and Colombia on 16 points, but they are currently missing out on even a playoff place for the World Cup due to their inferior goal difference.

La Celeste have qualified for the last three World Cups, finishing fourth in 2010, but they are in real danger of missing out this time around following a poor run that has seen them lose three qualifiers on the spin.

Bolivia are four points behind Uruguay in the standings and remain in the hunt to reach a first World Cup since 1994, due in large to an impressive home record, with 10 of their 12 points to date having been collected on their own patch.

Cesar Farias’s side are also unbeaten in their last four home qualifiers and they can be backed at 2/1 to win on Tuesday, while Marcelo Moreno is the leading scorer in South American qualifying with eight goals and is available at 9/4 to net anytime against Uruguay.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A fountain of knowledge on football, Tom offers a particular in-depth expertise in EFL and European leagues.

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