The large match
Colombia-Argentina, Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez (Barranquilla)
Buoyed by a complete win in Peru, sixth-positioned Colombia won’t be missing in confidence once they tackle unbeaten Argentina, who lie second. Victory right here will transfer the Colombians proper into competition.
Though the objectives have dried up for their strikers, Reinaldo Rueda’s males have been profiting from their aerial risk, which is able to are available helpful in opposition to a facet that has conceded simply three objectives in 5 video games.
After final week’s disappointing 1-1 residence draw with Chile, during which he handed debuts to 4 gamers, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni can be hoping his facet can present extra of their undoubted attacking capacity.
Argentina have gone 5 World Cup qualifying matches unbeaten in opposition to Colombia, registering two attracts and three wins in that sequence. Two of these triumphs got here away from residence: 1-0 in 2015 and a pair of-1 in 2011. Los Cafeteros’ final residence win in opposition to the Argentinians was a 1-0 victory in 2009.
Following a tough-fought defeat of Ecuador, leaders Brazil journey to fourth-positioned Paraguay in the one match of the day that options groups within the direct qualification locations, each of whom additionally occur to be unbeaten. Asuncion is just not a cheerful looking floor for the Brazilians, who haven’t gained there since 1985, registering two attracts and two defeats since then. The hosts should work exhausting to interrupt down the visiting defence, nevertheless. Tite’s facet have stored 4 clear sheets of their 5 matches up to now.
Currently third within the desk, Ecuador will hope to get again on monitor in opposition to winless Peru, who lie backside of the desk on only one level. La Tri have been in unstoppable kind of their Quito fortress, scoring ten objectives in profitable their first two residence matches. Yet there’s one stat that may give La Blanquirroja hope: they’ve gained their final three World Cup qualifying matches in opposition to the Ecuadorians, together with a 2-1 away win in 2017.
Inconsistent up to now, fifth-positioned Uruguay go to Venezuela, who lie one place off the underside and wish factors. La Celeste will nonetheless be with out the suspended Edinson Cavani, the scorer of the aim that gave them their final victory on Venezuelan soil: a 1-0 win in 2013. The Uruguayans are unbeaten in seven World Cup qualifiers (two wins and 5 attracts) in opposition to La Vinotinto, who want to start out scoring quickly, having failed to take action of their 4 defeats within the marketing campaign thus far.
Without a win of their final two matches, seventh-positioned Chile goal to interrupt that run in opposition to Bolivia, who lie one place under them in eighth. Chile have gained six of the seven World Cup qualifying encounters between the 2 in Santiago, the opposite match ending in a draw. La Roja picked up a morale-boosting level in Argentina however must again it up with three extra at residence, whereas the Bolivians will leapfrog their hosts if they arrive away from the Chilean capital with three factors.
Player to observe
Andre Carrillo (Peru)
The 29-12 months-previous ahead is Peru’s main scorer within the competitors with three objectives. Like the remainder of his group-mates, nevertheless, he has gone the final three matches with out discovering the again of the online. “The bad times can’t last forever,” mentioned the person they name La Culebra (“The Snake”) after the defeat to Colombia. His partnership with Paolo Guerrero can be extra vital than ever for La Blanquirroja of their bid to maneuver up the desk.
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Colombia’s assembly with Argentina has an fascinating subplot, with Cristian Romero, who made his Albiceleste debut in opposition to Chile, having to mark his Atalanta group-mates Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel. The trio have all shone in Italy. The Argentinian has simply been named the perfect defender in Serie A for the 2020/21 season, a marketing campaign during which the 2 Colombians scored 37 objectives between them (15 and 22 respectively).