Verdict: Brazil win
Best Odds: 3/5
Although it might be billed as a friendly on paper, Tuesday night promises to produce plenty of fireworks. Looking to carry on their post-World Cup winning streak, Brazil will meet bitter South American rivals Argentina at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
Starting with Tite’s Brazil side, while the Yellows may have headed to Brazil as the pre-tournament favorites, the South American giants were left disappointed after crashing out at the quarterfinals. However, coming off the back of their 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia last week, Brazil are showing no signs of a World Cup hangover. With a squad glittering with stars, Tite’s men have now won their last three on the bounce and more impressive, they are yet to concede a goal in any of those victories. Now losing just two of their 10 matches in 2018, the Yellows have done a stellar job of transforming from the side that lost 7-1 to Germany four years ago. Unsurprisingly, one man to watch out for Brazil will be their captain and talisman Neymar. Finding the net in two of his last three matches on international duty, the 26-year-old also has seven in his last five for club and country.
Not too many changes are expected from the side that beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 but Roberto Firmino could replace Gabriel Jesus in attack.
Liverpool number oneAlisson will be starting in goal as the five-time World Cup winners look to rotate their two big-name shot-stoppers.
As for Argentina, while Jorge Sampaoli’s side may have managed to sneak out of the group stage this summer, La Albiceleste never looked like a major threat in the finals. Shipping four against France in the last 16, their aim is now to improve the atmosphere ahead of what is looking like an increasingly important Copa America in 2019. While they are coming off the back of a 4-0 win over Iraq last week and are now unbeaten in their last three, Sampaoli’s inexperienced side showed signs of a struggle against both Colombia and Guatemala. Argentina will also be unable to call upon the services of captain and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. Following the White and Sky Blues poor showing over the summer, the Barcelona forward has announced an indefinite retirement from international football. The former world champions will also be concerned by their recent form away from home. Argentina have now managed to win just two of their last seven matches on foreign soil.
Argentina have no new injury problems from their win over Iraq, but will likely go with Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi to lead the line over his team-mate Lautaro Martinez who started against Iraq.
Key Factors to Consider
- Brazil have now kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven matches in all competitions.
- Six of the Yellows last eight matches have ended with under 2.5 goals at full-time.
- Including their run at the World Cup, Argentina have won just two of their last seven matches away from home (L3, D2).
- Brazil have lost just one match at home since June 2016.
- Tuesday’s game between Brazil and Argentina will be the 109th time the pair have faced off against each other.
With the likes of Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi from Argentina’s side, Tete should see this as a brilliant chance to improve on their pre-World Cup form. With his side also now managing to keep a clean sheet in their last eight friendlies on the bounce, we’re backing the five-time world champions to come away with the win on Tuesday night.
Verdict: Brazil win
Best Odds: 3/5
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