Argentina vs. Brazil: Time, TV, streaming, lineups, betting odds for CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier
Clinching a berth to the World Cup is an achievement in itself for most countries. But if you’re Argentina and you can do it against your archrival Brazil, it makes the occasion extra special.
That’s what the Albiceleste have in front of them when they host an undefeated Brazilian side that has won 11 of 12 matches and tied the other. Brazil leads the South American World Cup qualifying standings (34 points) and has already clinched a spot to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Undefeated Argentina (8-0-4) can potentially do the same if it can hand Brazil its first loss and other results on Matchday 14 go its way:
• Colombia does not win vs. Paraguay
• OR Uruguay and Chile do not win their respective matches
Argentina was the last team to beat Brazil at the final of the 2021 Copa America in July, allowing captain and superstar Lionel Messi to win his first trophy with the senior team. The teams then took the field in September for what was supposed to be their first qualifying showdown, but Brazilian health officials and federal police stopped the match after five minutes citing COVID-19 quarantine protocols as the match was suspended in scandal.
LIVE BLOG: Follow Argentina vs. Brazil as it happens
Word is expected any day now as to how that match suspension will be resolved. But Argentina knows if it can beat Brazil, it can move to within three points in the standings. And while there’s no prize for finishing first in the qualifying table, it’s about bragging rights and a nice bump in the FIFA world rankings.
It's confirmed that Messi will be playing in the match, as Argentina seeks to extend its 26-game unbeaten streak across all matches. (The last team to beat the Albiceleste was Brazil in the semifinals of the 2019 Copa America.) Both teams are coming off narrow 1-0 qualifying victories last week, but Brazil will be without superstar Neymar, who picked up a thigh injury which will force him to miss the head-to-head battle with his PSG teammate Messi.
How to watch Argentina vs. Brazil
The Argentina vs. Brazil World Cup qualifier from the Estadio Bicentenario of San Juan is available exclusively via fuboTV, which is the sole broadcaster of live matches from South American World Cup qualifying.
MORE: Neymar ruled out of qualifier vs. Argentina
In addition to matches involving Argentina and Brazil, every match from South American qualifying is carried by fuboTV, including on-demand replays.
Argentina will be hosting the match at the Estadio del Bicentenario in San Juan, where it has won all six matches it has played there. A crowd of 25,000 is expected.
With head coach Lionel Scaloni confirming that Messi will be playing, the only real question was whether Messi’s PSG teammate Leandro Paredes would also make his return from injury. He starts in place of center holding mid Guido Rodriguez. Outside of Messi and Paredes, the rest of the lineup is the same as from Friday's win in Uruguay.
Sevilla midfielder Papu Gomez is out after picking up a knee injury in his cameo appearance against Uruguay. Also not in the squad is Paulo Dybala, who was carrying a knock entering that Uruguay match and came out at halftime.
Vinicius Jr. replaces the injured Neymar in the lineup. Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro is suspended with Liverpool’s Fabinho taking his place.
These are the two best defensive teams in South America by a wide margin, and it’s little surprise given that each team has a real identity and solid organizational structure under its respective head coach. For example, this Brazil team heading into San Juan will not be interested in possessing the ball and it will keep Argentina in front of it, looking to take advantage of turnovers.
Argentina also showed a bend-but-not-break ability against Uruguay in a 1-0 win on Friday. Goalkeeper Emiliano "Dibu" Martinez has been in inspired form for his national team, and it doesn’t hurt that his team has enjoyed strokes of good fortune in moments when he hasn't been able to save the day.
MORE: Could Cristiano Ronaldo miss the World Cup?
The Asian total of two goals in the match will refund your bet if the match falls on that number. And if it does, it’s probably because both teams scored a single goal, and not that one of them allowed two. Of the 24 combined qualifiers played by the two sides thus far, the opposition has scored two goals on a mere two occasions. This should be a low-scoring affair.
• Both teams to score: Yes +120 / No -155