The road to Russia 2018 takes the final turn as the South American teams prepare for their final qualifying match on Tuesday (Wednesday morning IST). Six teams will fight for four places as the Latino beat hots up for the final match day blockbuster.
It has been a see saw ride for some teams, while Brazil has cruised through for a place in the finals next year, their rivals Argentina’s fate still is hanging in their own hands. Other South American countries that are still in contention are Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Colombia while Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela are out of the scenario.
Match Day 18 Fixtures:
Paraguay vs Venezuela
Brazil vs Chile
Ecuador vs Argentina
Peru vs Colombia
Uruguay vs Bolivia
Brazil, who already have booked a place in the finals as group winners will be facing a Chile team that is in dire need of a victory. Alexis Sanchez’s side will have to avoid defeat at least to have a chance in the play offs. Neymar and his troops will be eyeing to put up a good show at home as well and finish the qualifiers in winning note. But for Chile it is a crucial tie and they will have to shrug off their recent run of bad results and put up a good show.
Neymar in Brazil training
Paraguay will be hosting last placed Venezuela at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco in Asuncion. A win is must for Los Guaranies and they will fancy a home victory against a dejected and lackluster Venezuela side. While the away side can’t qualify but can still spoil the party in Asuncion to break Paraguayan hearts.
In the other match, Argentina travel to Ecuador and Lionel Messi’s side will have to win to ensure their place in Russia next year. Their coach Jorge Sampaoli has chosen a young and inexperienced squad for the last two matches and they will have to deliver and be more clinical in front of goal. Ecuador are also out of the qualifying picture and will be aiming to do a double over Argentina.
Uruguay hosts Bolivia and the 2010 Semi finalists need to make sure that there are no major disasters in the final hurdle. They are almost sure of qualifying directly and will have to get a point to secure that place. The likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani should be too good for a weak Bolivian side, at least on papers.
Another do or die match will be between Peru and Colombia where both teams can still qualify only if they get a positive result in the match. Colombia will have to get at least a point to ensure their place while the home side Peru needs a win to secure their bid in Russia. Even if either loose, they can still qualify but then they will have to depend on other results.
Bayern’s James Rodriguez in action against Paraguay
Paraguay 2 Venezuela 0
Brazil 1 Chile 2
Ecuador 1 Argentina 0
Uruguay 3 Bolivia 1
Peru 1 Colombia 2
The selected matches will be broadcast live on Sony Network and their respective HD channels.
Sony Ten 2 : Brazil vs Chile
Sony Ten 3 : Ecuador vs Argentina
Sony ESPN : Peru vs Colombia
All matches start from 05.00 IST on Wednesday, 11th October
All the matches can be live streamed on Sony LIV