Brazil vs Argentina predictions and match preview

Brazil vs Argentina predictions and match preview

Friendlies do not get much bigger than this as Brazil take on arch-rivals Argentina on Tuesday.

Both nations had slightly underwhelming performances at the 2018 World Cup in Russia but are now back looking to put themselves among the world’s elite once more.

Read on for Brazil v Argentina live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is Brazil vs Argentina?

Competition: Friendly

Venue: King Abdullah Sports City

Date: Tuesday, 16 October

Kick-off: 7:00 PM BST

Match preview

While Europe focuses on the Uefa Nations League and the reduction of ‘pointless’ friendly matches, one of the fiercest rivalries in world football travels to Saudi Arabia this week with Brazil and Argentina set to entertain fans in the Middle East.

This is the second consecutive friendly between the two nations to have been played outside of South America, with the 2017 meeting taking place in Melbourne.

Though purely an exhibition for worldwide fans, both Brazil and Argentina will be looking to show their skills after below-par performances at the World Cup.

Brazil, one of the early favourites for the competition, bowed out at the quarter-finals stage to Belgium in what was a fairly underwhelming showing by the five-time World Cup winners.

Meanwhile their South American rivals Argentina only made it to the last-16, losing 4-3 to eventual winners France in a result which was fairly complimentary of Lionel Messi and Co.

Since their World Cup exits, Brazil have beat the United States, El Salvador and Saudi Arabia, while Argentina have beat Guatemala and Iraq, drawing against Colombia.

Where can I watch live?

Brazil’s Saudi Arabian exhibition match against Argentina can be viewed by UK residents on FreeSports, which is channel 422 on Sky and channel 553 for Virgin Media users.

The game is also available to watch on fuboTV.

Why is the game being played in Saudi Arabia?

Over the current international break, Brazil, Argentina and Iraq have been taking part in a four-team tournament hosted by Saudi Arabia called the Superclasico.

As part of the Saudi Vision 2030, which has also seen WWE host two events in the country, the friendlies are Saudi Arabia’s way to planning to reduce their dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism

Why is Lionel Messi not playing?

Following Argentina’s disappointment at the World Cup, star forward Lionel Messi has indefinitely retired from international competition, though no official statements have been made.

As a result, Messi is currently unavailable for selection for La Albiceleste, though could still return if the national team is on the right path – according to caretaker coach Lionel Scaloni.

“We miss him. But we have to let him be, in peace,” he said in September.

“He has to enjoy his family, his life. We shall see what happens later. Once we have a project, a name (for a new permanent manager), we will see what Leo thinks.”

When will Brazil and Argentina return to competitive football?

Given the size of the CONMEBOL region (10 teams), countries such as Brazil and Argentina spend a lot of their time playing friendlies when qualification for a World Cup is not ongoing.

The next time Brazil and Argentina will find themselves competing in more than just friendlies will be the 2019 Copa America, set to be held in Brazil next June.

Head-to-head

Including their run to the World Cup quarter-finals, Brazil have already played 13 matches this year, winning all but two. Meanwhile, Argentina have won five of their 10 games in 2018, losing three and drawing two.

Tuesday’s game between Brazil and Argentina will be the 109th time the pair have faced off against each other.

Brazil currently lead the way with 44 wins to Argentina’s 39, while there have also been 25 draws, though La Albiceleste got the better of their rivals last time out in 2017.

Brazil wins: 44 Draws: 25 Argentina wins: 39

Team news

While it is purely a friendly between Brazil and Argentina, the pair are likely to play as strong a side as they can to keep the fans in Saudi Arabia happy.

One thing which is guaranteed for Brazil is Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson will be starting in goal as the five-time World Cup winners look to rotate their two big-name shot-stoppers.

Meanwhile, Argentina have no new injury problems from their win over Iraq. Scaloni has also confirmed 10 of the 11 players that will start against Brazil, but is yet to decide who will get the nod between Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez – who scored on his first goal in the game against Iraq.

Predicted Brazil XI: Alisson (GK); Alex Sandro, Pablo, Marquinhos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Renato Augusto, Fred; Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho.

Confirmed Argentina XI:  Romero (GK); Saravia, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Paredes, Lo Celso, Battaglia; Dybala, Icardi and Correa or Martinez.

Predictions & Betting Tips

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1. Brazil to win @ 8/13

Brazil have failed to win just twice in 2018 and are unlikely to add to that tally before the end of the international break.

A poor performance against Belgium aside, Tite’s men have looked tough to beat and would have fancied themselves to win the World Cup.

And the Selecao have not let the defeat get to them, starting from where they left off in their previous three friendly matches, while Argentina are still finding their way after the departures of Jorge Sampaoli and Lionel Messi.

Key Stat: Brazil have failed to win just six of Tite’s 29 games in charge.

Tip: Brazil to win @ 8/13 with William Hill – bet here

Odds correct at time of first publishing (15/10/2018, 15:30)

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2. Neymar first goalscorer @ 3/1

Neymar has been in phenomenal form for his club side Paris Saint-Germain this season and will be looking to carry it over against bitter rivals Argentina.

The Brazilian forward did not score last time out against Saudi Arabia but did show his creative side, recording assists for both goals.

But don’t expect Neymar to go another game without a goal, with the forward last going two consecutive matches for Brazil without scoring in 2017.

Key Stat: Neymar has scored 11 goals in 11 games for Paris-Saint Germain this season.

Tip: Neymar to score first @ 3/1 with William Hill – bet here

Odds correct at time of first publishing (15/10/2018, 15:30)

18+ only. Ts&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org

3. Mauro Icardi to score anytime @ 11/4

Though Mauro Icardi is not in the same form as Neymar for his club side, the Inter Milan striker can still be depended on to make an impact against Brazil.

Last season’s Serie A joint-top scorer was absent from Argentina’s World Cup squad, a decision which baffled many, but now he has been recalled to add to his five previous caps.

While none of those appearances have brought a goal so far, Icardi is a new man and will want to show his ability against the bitter rivals.

Key Stat: No player scored more goals in Serie A than Mauro Icardi (29) last season.

Tip: Mauro Icardi to score anytime @ 11/4 with William Hill – bet here

Odds correct at time of first publishing (15/10/2018, 15:30)

18+ only. Ts&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org