- South American qualifying for Qatar 2022 begins as we speak
- Uruguay-Chile is the standout fixture from Round 1
- Five coaches making their qualifiers debut
Not even a seven-month delay brought on by a world pandemic can dampen expectations forward of the South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Aside from how exterior circumstances may affect every nation, three groups – Brazil, Uruguay and Peru – begin with what would appear to be a bonus. In Tite, Oscar Tabarez and Ricardo Gareca, the trio have the identical coaches who guided them to Russia 2018.
Of the seven different groups, solely Chile and Bolivia have coaches with prior expertise of the continental qualifiers. The pair in query are the Colombian Reinaldo Rueda and Venezuelan Cesar Farias, each of whom have already navigated what many contemplate to be the world’s hardest qualifying competitors on the helm of different international locations.
All of which leaves three Argentinians: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina), Gustavo Alfaro (Ecuador) and Eduardo Berizzo (Paraguay), and two Portuguese: Carlos Queiroz (Colombia) and Jose Peseiro (Venezuela) making their debuts within the competitors. FIFA.com previews the beginning of the motion.
Matchday 1 schedule (all instances native)
The huge match
Uruguay-Chile, Estadio Centenario (Montevideo)
With each level treasured on this fiercely aggressive zone, this clash between two sides with aspirations to assert one of many automated qualifying berths appears an interesting one. The potential of Uruguay lies each within the high quality of veterans like Luis Suarez and Diego Godin, and that of their children, be it Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Betancour or Matias Vina, one of the current new abilities to emerge. It stays to be seen how Tabarez offers with huge-identify absentees, like that of Edinson Cavani up entrance and Fernando Muslera in aim.
Rueda additionally has choice issues, being unable to name upon, amongst others, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, defenders Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla, and midfielder Erik Pulgar, all common starters for Chile as they goal to get again to the World Cup after lacking out on Russia 2018.
This makes it much more essential for large names like Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, as nicely as common squad gamers Charles Aranguiz and Eduardo Vargas, to play a extra outstanding position, not least as a result of they might want to help relative newcomers like Francisco Sierralta and Claudio Baeza.
The stat: Uruguay have by no means misplaced at residence to Chile in World Cup qualifying (seven wins and one draw, relationship again to 2007).
In Buenos Aires, perennial candidates Argentina welcome Ecuador, one other aspect who missed out on Russia 2018. Lionel Messi might be collaborating in his fifth qualifying marketing campaign with a brand new look workforce, albeit with the identical obligations. Facing them are a rival that not solely received on their final go to to Argentina, however who even have in Alfaro a coach that after analysed opponents for La Albiceleste.
Peru, the revelation of the final qualifiers, start their marketing campaign in Asuncion in opposition to a Paraguay aspect hoping to return to the World Cup after sitting out the final two editions. Aside from Paolo Guerrero’s absence by way of damage, La Blanquirroja will probably stick to the core of the workforce that received right here on their final go to. La Albirroja, against this, are anticipated to introduce a number of new faces below the watchful eye of veterans like Gustavo Gomez and Miguel Almiron.
In Barranquilla, Colombia will kick issues off in opposition to Venezuela, the one CONMEBOL aspect but to qualify for a senior World Cup. With James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado obtainable (although not David Ospina), Los Cafeteros totally intend on being within the qualifying combine from the beginning. For their half, La Vinotinto must do with out their figurehead Solomon Rondon up entrance however can name on high quality established gamers to help newcomers from the U-20 aspect that had been world runner’s-up at Korea 2017.
Brazil get the ball rolling in Sao Paulo with the go to of Bolivia, who’ve managed simply two attracts in eight visits. With Neymar on the helm of a steady aspect replete with high quality alternate options, they begin as soon as once more as sturdy candidates for an automated qualifying spot. Bolivia, in the meantime, will hope to take encouragement from previous exploits and spring a shock.
Player to observe
James Rodriguez (Colombia)
Los Cafeteros might be hoping to capitalise on the positive type of their attacking midfielder, who has racked up three targets and three assists in 5 video games with new membership Everton. If James can replicate his Premier League kind with the nationwide workforce, then he might nicely turn out to be the chief they should qualify immediately for Qatar.
Did you understand…?
Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro will make his debut on the Venezuelan helm in opposition to compatriot Carlos Queiroz’s Colombia. Adding additional spice to this Lusitanian duel in South America is the truth that Peseiro was Queiroz’s technical assistant throughout the 2003/04 season he spent on the helm of Real Madrid.