Brazil has won all nine matches in World Cup qualifying so far and could well make it 10 on Sunday at Colombia. The Brazilians lead the 10-team South American round-robin competition by eight points.
By AP – Mauricio Savarese
Oct 8, 2021
But one year before kickoff in Qatar, there are some longtime fans of the Seleção who aren’t happy with the team after Thursday’s lackluster 3-1 win at Venezuela. And their concerns will be on coach Tite’s mind in Sunday’s match.
Argentina, which has recently struggled to get close to a qualifying spot along with Brazil, is comfortably in second place, eyeing even better days ahead due to renewed confidence since winning the latest Copa América title.
A home win against rival Uruguay could put Lionel Messi’s team even closer to qualifying directly for Qatar.
Brazil leads with 27 points and Argentina has 19 in nine matches – their clash in September was suspended after seven minutes due to COVID-19 protocols.
Ecuador and Uruguay have 16 points after 10 matches, but the Ecuadorians have more wins and hold third place. Colombia is fifth with 14 points.
The top four teams secure a spot at next year’s World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-place team will enter a playoff against a team from another confederation.
COLOMBIA vs. BRAZIL
Neymar returns to Brazil after a suspension and he’s the only good news for the team after a below-par performance at Venezuela, which led the match until the 71st minute.
Tite experimented at several positions against Venezuela, and most proved disappointing against a weak opposition. Left-back Guilherme Arana and midfielders Fabinho and Gerson did not play well and that gave analysts, former players and supporters the impression that Brazil lacks depth in its squad.
Brazil has not named its side for Colombia, but if the match against Venezuela is any indication, there is a chance for winger Raphinha, who came in as a substitute and provided two assists to save the Seleção from humiliation. Venezuela has only four points in qualifiers.
Colombia’s Juan Guillermo Cuadrado will miss the match in Barranquilla due to suspension after a yellow card against Uruguay. His likely replacement is Juan Fernando Quintero.
The latest duel between the teams took place in the group stage of this year’s Copa América. Brazil won 2-1 at home in a strongly contested match, which ended with a winning goal by Casemiro in added time and Colombians complaining about refereeing decisions.