Sitting sixth in CONMEBOL, Chile are three points off of an automatic World Cup berth or two points off of a playoff spot but they’ll need help to qualify. Facing a Brazil squad that hasn’t lost a match during qualifying matches even though they’ve been able to experiment for a bit now will be a tough mountain to climb for an aging Chile squad. Brazil has never lost a World Cup qualifying match at home and could be playing their last match on home soil during this window so they’ll have extra motivation to field a full strength side.
Brazil: While Tite won’t have Gabriel Jesus available, Brazil will have more than enough to see the match out with Phillippe Coutinho back in form. Everton will hope that RIcharlison can get some goals during the break to come back and save them from relegation but it’s the defenders who are the players to watch. Brazil doesn’t have a settled back line which could see Alex Telles get a start in his best chance to push for a spot on the World Cup squad. Tite could prefer Guilherme Arana from Atletico Mineiro however, so left back is a place to watch.
Chile: Still without Ben Bereton, Chile will be light up front with Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez providing their attacking power. But it’s the Claudio Bravo-led defense that should be the biggest concern against a Brazil squad that can run the score up in their sleep. While Chile held Brazil to only one goal when they last played, they’ve allowed 20 goals during qualifying. Last time out Brazil put four past Paraguay and in similar matches, they put seven past Uruguay and Venezuela.
Raphinha has contracted coronavirus and was subsequently ruled out from this fixture. Gabriel Magalhaes has made himself unavailable for this game as he is expecting the birth of his first child. Atletico Madrid’s Felipe has been called to cover for Magalhaes. Felipe will compete with Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Eder Militao for a place in the starting XI. Brazil’s Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is unwell and will warm the bench here. Atletico’s Mineiro Everson has been called by Tite as Ederson’s replacement. However, it is unlikely that Everson will take the field as Liverpool’s Alisson Becker is expected to don the gloves on Friday.
Brazil is demolishing its competition in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying tournament. The club is currently on a 32-match undefeated run in the tournament, a streak that dates back to 2016 in the qualifying tournament towards the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In the current edition, Tite’s national team was the first to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, is in first place in the standings with a 12-3-0 record and actually has a game in hand due to the match that was postponed with Argentina.