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Preview: Brazil vs. Peru - prediction, team news, lineups
09/09/2021 14:01:15

After the suspension of Sunday's clash with Argentina, Brazil return to action on Thursday (1:30AM, 10 Sept), when they play host to Peru in World Cup Qualifying.


The sides last met in the semi-final of this summer's Copa America, as the hosts came out on top, and they will look to strengthen their position at the summit of the qualifying group with a similar result on home turf.


Match preview


After a somewhat disappointing quarter-final exit in the 2018 World Cup, Brazil headed into the new qualification campaign hoping to dominate, and they have maintained a perfect record so far with seven straight victories.


They began with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia and a 4-2 win over Peru, as Neymar hit a hat-trick alongside a Richarlison goal to punish Thursday's opponents, and subsequent victories over Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador and Paraguay saw them head into the Copa America with 18 points from their six qualifying games.


Tite's men cruised through the group stage of the continental tournament comfortably, with a draw against Ecuador being the only blemish as they collected 10 points from four games, and 1-0 victories over Chile and Peru in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively saw them come within one game of retaining the title.


The Selecao fell short of fulfilling their aims though, as an Angel Di Maria goal made the difference in a 1-0 win for rivals Argentina, before Brazil returned to action recently with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chile thanks to Everton Ribeiro's 64th-minute winner.


Tite's men then met Argentina in Sao Paulo on Sunday, but the game was brought to an abrupt end inside the first 10 minutes as Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch, claiming that three Argentinian starters had broken rules by not declaring that they arrived from England, a nation on Brazil's COVID-19 red list.


Looking to put that drama behind them on Thursday, the Selecao will hope for a repeat of July's Copa America semi-final, when Lucas Paqueta fired them to a 1-0 win over Peru, but they certainly face a difficult test.


Peru come into the game on the back of a creditable pair of results, as they firstly drew 1-1 with Uruguay in World Cup Qualifying in the first game after their Copa America exit.


Renato Tapia put Los Incas ahead, and while Giorgian de Arrascaeta did equalise soon after on the half-hour mark, Ricardo Gareca's men will have been pleased to earn a point, and they built on that last time out.


Christian Cueva hit the only goal of the game as they defeated Venezuela 1-0 on Monday, taking their tally to eight points from eight games after a slow start to the World Cup Qualifying campaign in 2020.


Gareca's men certainly gave a good account of themselves at this summer's Copa America, bouncing back from a 4-0 thrashing to Brazil in the opening game with wins over Colombia and Venezuela to progress to the final eight, and they went a stage further by prevailing in a penalty shootout against Paraguay after a dramatic 3-3 draw in their quarter-final.


While they eventually fell short to the pre-tournament favourites, Los Incas squared up to the Selecao in far more impressive fashion than in the opening 4-0 thrashing, and they will hope to continue their improvement when the sides meet again on Thursday.


Team News


Following the Premier League's decision not to release players for games played in countries on England's COVID-19 red list, Brazil came into this round of fixtures without any of their English-based players.


That means front-line goalkeepers Alisson Becker and Ederson both miss out alongside the likes of centre-back Thiago Silva, midfielders Fred and Fabinho and attackers Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino.


Given the long list of absences, Weverton has deputised in goal, while Gabriel Barbosa should again join talismanic captain Neymar in the front line.


The losses of Silva, Fred and Fabinho are relatively manageable, given the Selecao's impressive squad depth, with Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos and Real Madrid's Eder Militao forming an accomplished centre-back pairing, while the likes of Gerson and Bruno Guimaraes will battle to join Real Madrid star Casemiro in the centre.


After dropping them for the Copa America, Gareca recalled experienced forwards Paolo Guerrero and Raul Ruidiaz into the Peru squad for this round of World Cup Qualifiers, adding vital experience to the side.


He has stuck with a very similar side to the one that played in the summer's tournament though, with Gianluca Lapadula keeping his spot as the lone striker for now, supported by wingers Christian Cueva and Andre Carrillo.


Renato Tapia and Yoshimar Yotun were two of the stars of their Copa America campaign, forming an impressive shield to the back line at the base of midfield.


Brazil possible starting lineup:

Weverton; Danilo, Marquinhos, Militao, Sandro; Ribeiro, Guimaraes, Casemiro, Paqueta; Barbosa, Neymar


Peru possible starting lineup:

Gallese; Advincula, Santamaria, Callens, Lopez; Yotun, Tapia; Carrillo, Flores, Cueva; Lapadula


We say: Brazil 2-1 Peru


Despite the loss of several starting players, Brazil still boast an impressive squad, and we see them narrowly getting past a resilient Peru side on Thursday.


The visitors will certainly make it difficult for the Selecao, but Tite's men have often managed to get over the line in tough situations, and we expect them to come away from a hard-fought battle with three points.

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