The large match
Peru – Colombia, Estadio Nacional (Lima)
After taking only one level from a attainable 12, Ricardo Gareca’s Peru (ninth) want to make up misplaced floor and rapidly. And what higher means to begin than in opposition to “a direct rival”, as their goalkeeper Pedro Gallese instructed FIFA.com. The nucleus of the crew stays unchanged, led as all the time by Paolo Guerrero.
Reinaldo Rueda, who began the qualifiers answerable for Chile, is again for his second spell on the helm of his native Colombia (seventh). The lack of James Rodriguez is a significant blow for Los Cafeteros, who will nonetheless have the ability to depend on large names like David Ospina, Yerry Mina, Juan Cuadrado and Luis Muriel.
The stat: Colombia have gone eight video games with out dropping to Peru within the qualifiers (six wins and two attracts). La Blanquirroja’s final victory was in 2001 (1-0 away), whereas their final house win was all of 40 years in the past (2-0 in 1981).
The solely fixture involving groups presently within the direct qualifying berths takes place in Porto Alegre and sees Brazil, leaders with most factors, and Ecuador, third with three wins from 4, go head to head. With Neymar and Dani Alves set to star, Tite’s aspect can be attempting to prolong their unbeaten run within the preliminaries to 22 video games (16 wins and 5 attracts). La Tri have failed to win any of their final 4 conferences with the Auriverde and have managed simply two wins (2001 and 2004) over their opponents in ten makes an attempt, each on house soil.
In Montevideo, Uruguay (fifth) and undefeated Paraguay (4th) will do battle to finish the day within the qualifying locations. Oscar Tabarez is not going to have Edinson Cavani after his sending off in opposition to Brazil however can depend on Luis Suarez and Fabian Muslera, who returns from harm. For his half, Paraguay coach Eduardo Berizzo can even welcome again two of his key gamers in Andres Cubas and Miguel Almiron. In phrases of the top-to-head document within the qualifiers, La Celeste are second greatest, although they’ve now gone 5 video games with out dropping to La Albirroja (three wins and two attracts). The latter’s final victory dates again to 2007 (1-0), whereas they haven’t received in Uruguay since 2001 (1-0).
Another undefeated aspect Argentina (2nd) welcome Chile (sixth) to Santiago del Estero. With Lionel Messi on the helm, Lionel Scaloni’s revamped Albiceleste can be hoping for their fifth qualifying win in a row in opposition to La Roja, who’ve only one victory over their neighbours on this competitors (1-0 at house in 2008). The fixture will mark the official debut of recent Roja coach Martin Lasarte, who can be with out high-scorer Arturo Vidal. “We must keep the team centre stage. Chilean football has earned the right to be there and now is not the time to lose it,” Lasarte just lately instructed FIFA.com.
After choosing up their first three factors at house on matchday 4, Venezuela (eighth) can be eager to add to their tally in La Paz in opposition to a Bolivia (tenth) aspect nonetheless in the hunt for their first win of the marketing campaign. Although Jose Peseiro is hampered by accidents to key gamers akin to Salomon Rondon and Yangel Herrera, there’s excellent news within the return of Josef Martinez. His Bolivian counterpart Cesar Farias continues his bid to revitalise the crew however will nonetheless be calling on a number of key veterans led by Marcelo Martins. La Vinotinto have solely ever received as soon as in Bolivia – a 1-0 triumph in 2009 – dropping seven and drawing one among their different eight video games there.
Player to watch
Angel Romero (Paraguay)
The 27-yr-previous winger has been in scintillating kind to this point in these qualifiers. While he shares high spot within the scorers’ charts alongside Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez on 4 objectives, he has a greater objectives-per-minute common than the opposite two, with 1 each 55.7 minutes in contrast to 1 each 62.25 for Suarez and 90 for Vidal.