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Preview: Chile vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups
02/09/2021 14:43:28

South American giants Brazil will be looking to maintain their 100% record in World Cup qualification when they travel to Chile on Friday (3:00AM, 3 Sept).


The visitors have won each of their last 12 international matches on the road, while the hosts have lost just one of their last eight games on home soil.


Match preview


Brazil return to international action this week for the first time since they lost in the Copa America final to Argentina in July.


Tite's side claimed five wins and one draw heading into the showpiece event, where a first-half strike from Angel Di Maria condemned the Verde-Amarela to their first international defeat since November 2019, when they were also beaten by Argentina.


Brazil now turn their attention back to World Cup qualification, where they remain the only South American side who have a perfect record from the first six matches, scoring 16 goals and conceding just two in the process.


Before they aim to take revenge against Argentina on Sunday, they face a Chile outfit who they have beaten in three of their last four meetings, without conceding a goal.


Brazil are currently unbeaten in each of their last 23 World Cup qualifiers, though their last defeat was against Chile, losing 2-0 back in 2015.


Tite is aware of the threats the visitors may pose, but will be confident his side can secure all three points on Friday.


As for Chile, their 2021 Copa America campaign was ended by Brazil in the quarter-finals, as the 2015 and 2016 champions were narrowly beaten 1-0, despite their opponents being reduced to 10 men three minutes after the break.


La Roja are currently in the midst of a concerning run that has seen them win just one of their last seven internationals and only one game in six World Cup qualifiers.


Aside from beating Peru 2-0 on home soil, Chile suffered 2-1 away defeats to Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as claiming three score draws against Colombia, Argentina and Bolivia.


Martin Lasarte's men sit seventh in the current standings with six points, two points behind fourth-placed Uruguay, who occupy the final qualification spot.


Success on Friday is unlikely, though they will need to turn their fortunes around quickly to ensure they do not fall further behind the leading pack.


Team News


Several high-profile Brazilian players from the Premier League have not been selected in Tite's 25-man squad, due to all 20 clubs refusing to release their players for international games in red list countries during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Goalkeepers Alisson Becker and Ederson, defender Thiago Silva, midfielders Fred, Fabinho and Douglas Luiz as well as forwards Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison were all part of the squad that reached the Copa America final, however none of these players will be involved this month.


There are still plenty of experienced players among the squad, including star attacker Neymar, veteran right-back Dani Alves and 35-year-old forward Hulk, who has received his first international call-up since 2016.


He could be handed a start as the central striker, though Flamengo's Gabriel Barbosa is set to be given the nod after scoring 22 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions so far this campaign.


As for Chile, they will be without Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz and Watford defender Francisco Sierralta as they are to remain with their respective English clubs.


With Inter Milan's Alexis Sanchez still out with a calf injury, the hosts will have to rely on Eduardo Vargas to lead the line.


The former Queens Park Rangers forward is set to be joined by Jean Meneses, though South Carolina-born Robbie Robinson could be handed his debut after impressing for MLS side Inter Miami.


Lasarte is expected to name an experienced backline, including 33-year-old's Gary Medel and Eugenio Mena as well as 34-year-old Mauricio Isla, who are set to shield 38-year-old goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo.


Chile possible starting lineup:

Bravo; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Mena; Vidal, Aranguiz, Pulgar; Jiminez; Meneses, Vargas


Brazil possible starting lineup:

Weverton; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Militao, Sandro; Casemiro, Guimaraes; Riberio, Paqueta, Neymar; Barbosa


We say: Chile 0-1 Brazil


With Brazil missing several Premier League players, this could provide some confidence for Chile, who will be looking to take advantage against a slightly weaker Verde-Amarela side.


The visitors, however, still have plenty of star names throughout their squad and we feel that the team Tite names will have enough quality to claim all three points on Friday.


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