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2018 World Cup qualifying: Brazil battle bitter foes Argentina

Argentina v Brazil

  • 2018 World Cup qualifying, South America (CONMEBOL)
  • Friday, November 13th
  • Kick-off: 12:00 GMT
  • Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Battle of the South Americans

While Europe has it’s sporting eye trained firmly on Euro 2016, South American football has already begun qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. In a show-stealing scuffle on matchday three, the continent’s two most decorated giants, Argentina (13/10 with Coral to triumph) and Brazil (21/10), will do battle in Buenos Aires.

Superclasico de las Americas is always a global draw; for the glamour, flair and a smattering of the world’s most talented players. Yet, this tussle has a twist, as both footballing powers have gotten off to less than ideal qualifying campaigns.
It may still be early days, but this duel between two of the finest teams could shape the qualifying path to come. With much more than just points at stake, as ever, there is pride.
Recent history favours home advantage, with La Albiceleste losing just one of their last four Samba Boys battles as hosts, though that arrived last time out with Brazil claiming a 2-0 victory in enemy territory, a result they are 12/1 to repeat.

La Albiceleste injury issues

Chile Soccer Copa America Chile Argentina
Argentina are also injury-plagued at the moment, with marksman Carlos Tevez joining talisman and skipper Lionel Messi plus striking sensation Sergio Aguero on the sidelines. Yet, Tata Martino’s men still have plenty of potency in the reserve, with PSG’s Angel Di Maria (15/8 in the anytime market), Atletico Madrid sensation Angel Correa (6/5) and Napoli goal machine Gonzalo Higuain (9/2 to poach first) all available.

As for Samba silk, prodigy Neymar returns for his nation and is 5/1 to fire Brazil ahead, which is an excellent price considering how prolific the Barcelona hitman has been of late.
Providing further star dust is Chelsea wing grafter and set-piece threat Willian (11/4 to score anytime), who is top scorer in qualifying for Dunga’s boys. While, reliable poacher Ricardo Oliveira is also 7/4 to get in on the action anytime.
With so many dangermen on show despite being depleted, it may be wiser to back Brazil at 24/5 to win with both teams to score.

Chile v Colombia

  • 2018 World Cup qualifying, South America (CONMEBOL)
  • Thursday, November 12th
  • Kick-off: 23:30 GMT
  • Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos, Santiago, Chile

Super Sanchez in scorching form

Chile Soccer Copa America Chile Peru
Hosts Chile have enjoyed a perfect start to World Cup qualifying and are 8/11 to maintain their 100 per cent record at home to Colombia.

Currently missing out on top spot due to goal difference, Jorge Sampaoli’s expansive side, fresh from Copa America victory, should be going for the jugular.
Sampaoli has back in-form Alexis Sanchez at his disposal, and the Arsenal dynamo has already drilled home three in qualifying, making him leading scorer alongside compatriot Eduardo Vargas. The prolific pair have formed an electric partnership and are 4/1 and 11/2 to notch first and last respectively.

Plucky Colombia possess abundance of attackers

Chile Soccer Copa America Colombia Peru
As for the Coffee Growers, the potential displayed at the 2014 World Cup has not yet reaped rewards, and a draw at 11/4 would be an excellent result on the road. Wily Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez (a 7/4 shout to strike anytime) returns to bolster the attack, though Chelsea loanee Radamel Falcao is sidelined.

Still, Jose Pekerman has the likes of predators Carlos Bacca, Jackson Martinez (6/1 to have the final say) and Luis Muriel to call-upon and will be keen to inflict damage on the counter-attack.

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