Brazil will aim to return to winning ways in World Cup 2022 Qualifying when they welcome Uruguay to Manaus on Thursday.
Tite’s side dropped their first points of qualification against Colombia on Sunday night, while their visitors suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Argentina.
Brazil’s perfect start to World Cup Qualifying was destined to end at some point, with the Selecao unable to make it 10 wins from 10 as they were held to a goalless draw by Colombia during the first halt of their Qatar 2022 momentum.
Despite bossing the ball with 63% possession, Brazil only mustered five shots on target during a toothless attacking performance, but fortunately for Tite, that result has done little harm to their qualification bid.
Indeed, Brazil remain at the summit with 28 points taken from a possible 30 – with second-placed Argentina six points adrift of their rivals – while only three goals conceded in their opening 10 games is unsurprisingly the best defensive record in CONMEBOL Qualifying.
Twenty-two strikes notched up at the correct end of the pitch is also a continental best, but Brazil’s attacking forces can ill-afford another off day like they had against Colombia lest they risk their position at the top of the rankings coming under threat.
While their stalemate with Colombia was disappointing in the grand scheme of things, their unbeaten run in World Cup Qualifying now stands at a remarkable 27 games since a 2-0 defeat to Chile in October 2015, and they are on a 10-game qualification winning streak on home soil.
Uruguay became the latest victims of a record-breaking Lionel Messi strike over the weekend, as the Argentine’s 38th-minute opener for his side saw him do what no male South American footballer before him could – reach 80 international goals.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s effort came before Rodrigo de Paul and Lautaro Martinez both struck to see out a comfortable 3-0 win for the Copa America winners over Uruguay, who may just start to look over their shoulder given their recent results.
Having claimed just two wins in their last eight World Cup Qualifying battles, Oscar Tabarez’s side are just about holding onto that fourth and final automatic qualification spot, but fifth-placed Colombia find themselves just one point behind their continental counterparts.
Furthermore, Tabarez’s side travel to Brazil on a three-game winless run away from home in World Cup Qualifying – with that defeat to Argentina coming after draws with Venezuela and Peru – and they have only prevailed in two of their 13 encounters on the road in qualification since 2015.
Not since 2001 have Uruguay managed to beat Brazil in any competition, and the hosts have won seven of their last eight encounters with La Celeste in all competitions, including a comfortable 2-0 win during their first Qualifying clash last November.
Brazil World Cup Qualifying – South America form:
Brazil form (all competitions):
Uruguay World Cup Qualifying – South America form:
Uruguay form (all competitions):
We say: Brazil 2-0 Uruguay
No side has managed to beat Brazil away from home in World Cup Qualifying since the turn of the millennium, and not many will be placing bets on Uruguay being the first team to do so here.
La Celeste have struggled for performances on the road in recent times, while the Selecao will be determined to bounce back immediately from Sunday’s disappointment, so we can only back Brazil to get the job done comfortably.