- FIFA.com has the build-up to Colombia-Uruguay, Chile-Peru & Brazil-Venezuela
- See quotes, stats, trivia & photos
- Live updates posted throughout the games
Did you know?
- Colombia and Uruguay both have a centre forward called ‘Luis Suarez’ in their squad. The former called up theirs – an uncapped player based with Granada in Spain – due to Falcao’s injury-enforced absence.
- The Celeste Suarez is joint-fourth on South America’s all-time leading marksmen alongside Ronaldo (62 goals). The 33-year-old is only two goals shy of Neymar, with Lionel Messi (71) and Pele (77) out in front.
- Victor Pacheco helped Colombia thrash Uruguay 5-0 in the Germany 2006 preliminaries. It is the Colombians’ joint-biggest-ever victory, and the Uruguayans’ heaviest-ever defeat, in a World Cup qualifier.
- Colombia have won five, drawn one and lost one of their last seven home qualifiers with Uruguay, scoring 17 goals and conceding just four in the process.
- Fernando Muslera is South America’s third-most-capped goalkeeper. With 116 appearances to his name, the 34-year-old is closing in on former Paraguay No1 Justo Villar (120), with Chile’s Claudio Bravo currently leading the way (123).
- Colombians Luis Muriel (18 goals in 34 appearances) and Duvan Zapata (18 in 28) formed a deadly strike partnership in the 2019/20 Serie A season, helping Atalanta score 2.6 goals per game on average and 22 more than champions Juventus overall.
- Los Cafeteros, largely thanks to goalkeeper David Ospina, have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 14 matches.
South America’s top international scorers
Statistics updated after Thursday’s games.
Did you know?
- Arturo Vidal is one goal shy of becoming one of very few box-to-box midfielders in the world to register 30 international goals.
- Chile have won five of their last six World Cup qualifiers against Peru.
- Peru have never won a World Cup qualifier away to Chile, losing eight and drawing two.
- Chile are fifth in South America and 17th overall on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Peru are sixth and 24th respectively.
Neymar out, Ederson to start
Despite travelling to Brazil from Paris, Neymar has been ruled out of the games against Venezuela and Uruguay. Tite said that he will therefore give Roberto Firmino more of a free role and that Richarlison’s function will be that of a No9, while Gabriel Jesus is expected to form part of a three-pronged attack.
The Brazil coach also confirmed that Ederson will start in goal. The 27-year-old will win his tenth cap.
Expected Brazil XI
Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Renan Lodi; Allan, Douglas Luiz, Everton Ribeiro; Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison.
Did you know?
- Without Neymar, Everton Ribeiro will wear the hallowed Brazil No10 shirt.
- Thiago Silva will captain Brazil for the 33rd time. The 36-year-old will play his 92nd international, taking him level with Kaka as the country’s joint-13th most-capped player.
- Brazil have won 15 and drawn one of their 16 World Cup qualifiers with Venezuela, scoring 62 goals and conceding just one in the process.
- Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez is merely 1.75m tall. The 22-year-old, who produced some breathtaking saves and became the first goalkeeper to score at a FIFA U-20 World Cup™ at Korea Republic 2017, already has 24 senior caps to his name.
- Venezuela reached their highest-ever position on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – 25th – in November 2019. They are currently 28th, above the likes of African champions Algeria, Serbia, Russia and regional rivals Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia.
- Four members of Jose Peseiro’s squad are presently playing their club football in Brazil. Romulo Otero, Yeferson Soteldo, Jefferson Savarino and 20-year-old Jan Carlos Hurtado are at Corinthians, Santos, Atletico Mineiro and Bragantino respectively.
Top scorers in Qatar 2022 qualifying
“So, so, so, so much. Much more than you can imagine. I’ve won the Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup, the Premier League. [The World Cup] is what’s missing for me.”
Firmino to FIFA.com on how much he wants to win Qatar 2022
“I know we’re going to qualify, I’m absolutely certain. I say that from the heart, just as I said it after the opening game of the previous qualifiers.”
Renato Tapia to FIFA.com
“It’s my trademark! Of course I’ve imagined doing the pigeon dance in the World Cup. The supporters really like it, it especially appeals to kids. I’ve done it for the Seleção together with Neymar, I do it for my club, and I want to score goals and do it many times at the 2022 World Cup.”
Richarlison to FIFA.com
“Imagining myself helping Venezuela qualify for their first World Cup gives me goosebumps. I couldn’t put a price on that. It would be the ultimate.”
“It was a mix of sentiments. The explosion of happiness to make my World Cup debut, to live through the atmosphere at a World Cup. And then the frustration of the two injuries that ruled me out of games. Having that experience, and being ruled out of games when I was desperate to play, has made me want to be at the next World Cup even more.”
Danilo to FIFA.com on Russia 2018
World Cup participations