Welcome to Sportstar‘s LIVE coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying match Brazil vs Argentina.
This is Santadeep Dey, bringing you all the action as it unfolds at the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo.
Stay tuned! The live coverage begins at 12:30 AM IST on September 6.
– Meanwhile, Guinea’s World Cup qualifier against Morocco has just been postponed. Find out why.
– BREAKING NEWS: Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has sought the immediate isolation of four Argentine footballers. It said the players should have quarantined on arrival because they had spent time in the United Kingdom over the previous 14 days.
Although it did not name the four, players with English Premier league clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham.
“Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil,” a statement read.
The Argentine squad flew into Brazil on Friday, the day after beating Venezuela 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Caracas.
Under Brazilian rules, a visitor who has been in the UK for 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for two weeks on arrival.
Anvisa was tipped off the four players did not state that information on their immigration forms and on Sunday said it confirmed the details given were “false”. The confusion came just hours before the two arch rivals were scheduled to face off.
Spokespeople for both the Argentine team and CONMEBOL – the South American Football Confederation – did not respond to requests for comment.
However, Argentine TV channel Todo Noticias said the four travelled on the team bus to the stadium ahead of kickoff.
When Brazil hosts Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier, it may not be fair to call it a rematch of the Copa America final from less than two months ago.
Brazil is missing nine England-based players who did not travel because of Britain’s coronavirus restrictions. Meanwhile, Argentina star Lionel Messi is a slight doubt after being subjected to a harsh tackle by Venezuela’s Adrian Martinez on Thursday, which led to a red card.
If Messi can play, as expected, Argentina will have a good chance of strengthening its status as the best team in South America after beating Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final in July in Rio de Janeiro. Especially since it was able to bring four Premier League players: Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia and Tottenham’s Giovanni Lo Celso and Cristian Romero.
“What matters the most is not to rest on past achievements and march on,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said after the 3-1 win in Venezuela.
“It will be a different match against Brazil… everyone is available, and whoever is at their best will play.”
Brazil leads the South American qualifying group with a perfect 21 points after seven games, while Argentina is second on 15.
But Brazil coach Tite is missing a big part of the team that started the Copa America final, including the suspended Marquinhos and England-based Thiago Silva, Fred and Richarlison.
Tite used four forwards in Thursday’s 1-0 win at Chile. But he is unlikely to repeat that formation against Argentina, not only because he’s facing a more dangerous opponent but also because it didn’t work very well.
The winning goal came from substitute Everton Ribeiro in the 64th minute, with star forward Neymar having a sub-par game.
The uncertainty surrounding Brazil’s team is such that midfielder Gerson, who hadn’t even been called up by Tite for more than a year, hopes to start against Argentina.
“If it is meant to be, I am ready,” said Gerson, who played in the second half of Brazil’s win in Chile.
Also Sunday, third-place Ecuador hosts Chile and Uruguay takes on Bolivia. Colombia will travel to Paraguay, while Peru plays Venezuela.
The first four teams will automatically qualify for the tournament in Qatar next year. The fifth-place team will take part in a playoff against a team from a different confederation.
– Associated Press
Brazil: Weverton; Danilo, Militao, Marquinhos, Sandro; Ribeiro, Casemiro, Guimaraes, Vinicius; Barbosa, Neymar
Argentina: E Martinez; Molina, Pezzella, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Rodriguez, Lo Celso; Di Maria, Messi, L Martinez
In the last ten meetings, Brazil has won five times while Argentina has emerged victorious on four occasions. They shared the honours in one of the fixtures.
The sides last clashed in the Copa America 2021 final when Argentina won the game 1-0.
WHERE TO WATCH FIFA WC 2022 QUALIFIERS LIVE IN INDIA?
The South American FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers will not be officially telecast or live streamed in India.