Brazil must overcome an injuries crisis in its ranks, including the star of its attack, Neymar, when the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers resume. Argentina hopes to continue its good start when it hosts its neighbor Paraguay on Thursday.
Brazil, the champion of the Copa America, Venezuela, and the bottom runner of the united group, will receive in Sao Paulo on Friday, their third successive victory after two victories over Bolivia (5-0) and in Peru (4-2).
But Brazil coach Tite will miss his most prominent star, Neymar, after suffering a thigh injury during his participation with his French club, Paris Saint-Germain, in the Champions League last month in Turkey.
Neymar, 28, scored a hat-trick in Lima last month, raising his score to 64 goals, surpassing Ronaldo’s “phenomenon” number and standing 13 goals away from Pele’s local figure.
Despite his injury, Neymar is traveling with the “Seleção” national team, hoping to recover to face Uruguay on the 17th of this month.
But national team coordinator Juninho Paulista said Tite had told St Germain’s sporting director Leonardo that he would never risk the player’s health.
In light of the crowds of matches, veteran Thiago Silva (36 years), who strengthened the English Chelsea defense after coming from Saint-Germain, warned of the subsequent fatigue of the players, “You have to continue to reinvent yourself indefinitely. We lose players with Covid-19 or others.” Because they have played a lot of games, we are not machines. ”
“We have seen recent studies that show that injuries become likely after playing four or five matches in a short period (every three days),” the former Milan defender continued. “This is very concerning for us.”
While goalkeeper Alison Baker and striker Gabriel Gesos have returned from injury, the five-time world champion will be absent from the midfielders Casemiro, Coutinho, and Fabinho.
As for Argentina, which started the qualifiers with two poor victories over Ecuador (1-0) and Bolivia (2-1), doubts also arise about the participation of their star, Lionel Messi.
The best player in the world participated six times in the second half of Barcelona’s match against Betis last week, amid reports that his ankle is not 100% healed.
“TYC Sports” leaked the expected line-up for coach Lionel Scaloni, led by Messi’s attacking trio, Lautaro Martinez, and returning to the squad after an absence of about a year Angel Di Maria.
The “Albicelesti” squad will be absent from attackers Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero. At the same time, Scaloni may push the other offensive card, Joaquin Correa, who scored the winning goal in the last ten minutes on high ground in Bolivia to break Argentina’s 15-year-old misfortune in La Paz.
He also made his way to the Argentine national team, striker Lucas Alario, after scoring seven goals for Bayer Leverkusen in his last four matches.
A miniature summit between Colombia and Uruguay.
Uruguay will meet its third-ranked host Colombia in an upcoming match in Barranquilla on Friday, in an attempt to make up for its heavy loss to Ecuador 2-4 last month.
Uruguayan Luis Suarez shares, with Neymar and Peruvian Andre Carrillo, Al Hilal striker of Saudi Arabia, the top scorer in the qualifiers (3), all from penalty kicks, to withdraw his brilliance with his new team, Atletico Madrid, Spain, after his bitter transfer from Barcelona.
Uruguay will miss Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde after suffering a broken leg bone, while Maxi Gomez is also missing a knee injury.
Argentine coach Gustavo Alvaro pledged to put “my heart and soul to bring Ecuador to Qatar” after failing to reach the 2018 World Cup before meeting Bolivia on Thursday.
“The Ecuadorian national team today is a collection of good intentions, more than a team built on solid foundations. I say it and repeat it; the biggest challenge is to turn the dream into reality. I am not here to lead a team, but to win,” Alvaro told the FIFA website.
“It must be said that absenteeism from the next World Cup will be frustrating.” Ecuador has three points, while Bolivia is bottom.
Peru, runners-up to Copa America on Friday, will play twice continental champion Chile, in 2015 and 2016. The two teams are searching for a dose of hope, looking for a first victory in the qualifiers.