- The CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying table has taken shape with Brazil and Argentina at the top
- It’s much more congested behind them with six teams within six points
- Thursday’s CONMEBOL fixtures feature several pivotal matchups in this qualification campaign
The CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying is always the most entertaining. Even with four automatic spots for just 10 teams (plus an extra playoff berth), the CONMEBOL section is more competitive than others, and the standard of football is generally very high. That’s been no different in the 2022 World Cup cycle, and there’s been some controversy sprinkled in for good measure.
Five matches take place on Thursday. Bolivia and Paraguay get us underway before a tantalizing clash between Colombia and Ecuador. Argentina, Chile and Brazil are all favored for their home matches in Buenos Aries, Santiago and Manaus respectively.
CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying Odds
|Bolivia vs Paraguay||+140||+220||+215|
|Colombia vs Ecuador||-155||+285||+450|
|Argentina vs Peru||-550||+650||+1500|
|Chile vs Venezuela||-260||+380||+800|
|Brazil vs Uruguay||-195||+310||+600|
Odds as of Oct 14 at DraftKings
Colombia vs Ecuador Prediction
Currently languishing in fifth, Colombia can leapfrog Ecuador and potentially Uruguay with a win on Thursday. Scoreless draws with Brazil and Uruguay have made for a solid international break for Los Cafeteros so far, and they are favored for this duel with Ecuador.
Ecuador thumped Colombia 6-1 back in November 2020. The teams have met since then, though, with Reinaldo Rueda’s side claiming a 1-0 win in the Copa America. Despite sitting third in the group, Ecuador’s form does little to gain the confidence of bettors. They have just one win in four matches and lost to struggling Venezuela last time out.
Termina el partido
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) October 8, 2021
While Ecuador have picked up some good results in this qualifying campaign, they are overmatched against this Colombia team. Rueda’s team have been resolute in defense over their last two games. They should continue that form on Thursday to make it three clean sheets in a row.
Pick: Colombia to win to nil (+140)
Argentina vs Peru Prediction
Unbeaten in their first 10 World Cup qualifying matches, Argentina come into this match full of confidence. They beat Uruguay 3-0 just a few days ago and face a Peru team coming off a defeat to Bolivia. La Blanquirroja also have just three wins from their 11 qualifying outings thus far.
Lionel Scaloni stating that Argentina will play Brazil in November in San Juan. The match will not be played at the Monumental in Buenos Aires.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) October 13, 2021
Lionel Messi scored his 80th international goal against Uruguay as Lionel Scaloni’s team made it 24 unbeaten matches in all competitions. They haven’t lost a home fixture since 2016 and it’s three consecutive clean sheets in World Cup Qualifying.
Last night Messi became the first South American player to score 80 international goals. An astonishing achievement, especially given that the level of opposition in qualifying games is significantly tougher than on any other continent.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) October 11, 2021
While Scaloni might rotate his team slightly, the hosts should have far too much quality for Peru. The Argentines cruised to a 2-0 win after two early goals on their previous meeting in November 2020. A similar match is to be expected at El Monumental on Thursday.
Pick: Argentina -1.5 (-170)
Brazil vs Uruguay Prediction
Brazil’s run of nine consecutive wins to start qualification came to an end in their last match. Despite dominating possession against Colombia, Tite’s team generated just nine shots as they were held to a goalless draw. They will be desperate to bounce back in Manaus on Thursday.
Éder Militão has been diagnosed with a thigh muscle injury he suffered against Colombia on Monday. Real Madrid officials have been in contact with the Brazil national team doctor. [Globoesporte] pic.twitter.com/f1XkuWxJn2
— 𝗥𝗠𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆 (@ReaIMadridOnly) October 13, 2021
Uruguay are currently fourth in the group, but it’s been a tricky few days. A nil-nil with Colombia was ominous as they headed into a difficult part of the schedule. Losing 3-0 to Argentina doesn’t bode well for their trip to the Amazon rainforest.
La Celeste have lost seven of their last eight against Brazil. Their last win in this fixture came in 2001.
Rodrigo Bentancur returns for the visitors, and Eder Militao is likely unavailable for Brazil, but that doesn’t change the balance of this fixture. Brazil are the far superior team and should get back to winning ways.
Pick: Brazil -1.5 (+160)
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