Thursday, 10 November 2016

Brazil - Argentina

PICK: Argentina AH +0,5 @1,80 PINNACLE 5/10
Football / WC Qualifiers / Kick off: 11 Nov 2016, 0:45

In this round we'll be able to see the derby between South America's two biggest national teams. After 10 round, Brazil is in much better situation with 21 points and goal difference +14 sitting on 1st place of qualification group, while Argentina is on 6th place, not even between teams who would reach WC in Russia for now. 

Brazil whose head coach since June 2016 is Tite (Bacchi), looking pretty good and comfortable on 1st spot, with Uruguay 1 point behind, while 3rd Ecuador is already 4 points behind them. With Jesus, Willian and Neymar as best scorers of national team they won all four matches after September (Ecuador 0-3, 2-1 Columbia, 5-0 Bolivia, Venezuela 0-2). We can see that they conceded only one goal, but it will be totally different to play against team like Argentina. It is true that they can be more comfortable in front of derby, but I am sure that they will want win as much as Gauchos will want it. Casemiro is still injured so we can expect Fernandinho on defensive midfield position which is for sure not bad, cause Fernandinho is one of key players of Manchester City this season and he is playing on really high level - but, also he is little bit injured. Tite has big squad, specially in attack he can chose between many really quality players, so it's almost impossible to predict who will start. Neymar is back in squad after missing Venezuela, which means that William or Coutinho will go to the bench, while Jesus will probably stay as middle attacker. 

As mentioned, Argentina is in bad position. They didn't win not even once in last three matches, and opponents were Peru, Venezuela and Paraguay. First two matches ended with draw, while they lost against Paraguay at home, which was total disappointment for they're fans. What was missing in those matches? Better question is who, and this is Lionel Messi. He is back! With him, we'll watch totally different Argentina.

In my opinion head coach Bauza is the happiest about having him back, because his place was already in jeopardy. On right back we'll be able to watch repeated duel between Zabaleta and Neymar. In Champions league Argentinian stopped Brazil star pretty good, and we'll see how it will be this time. It could be the crucial fact of match! With Otamendi in defence, Argentina finally has one trustworthy defender - who should play in pair with Mascherano in my opinion, but I think that Bauza will let Masche to play in midfield as defensive midfielder. Biglia is back and could start, while as at Brazilians also there we can not be sure who will start in up-front for Argentina. Messi, Aguero, Dybala, Higuain, Correa, also Di Maria could be used as offensive winger...

All in all, the importance of match is much bigger for Argentina who can not allow themselves to lose all three points here. Right now they are competing with Chile for 5th spot, and they will have though match in Columbia - without key player Alexis, but it's also needed to be mentioned that 3rd spot is only 1 point above Argentina. They will still play 8 matches, so it is far from must win situation as many people are saying, but here is not just about points and position on table, but also for pride. I expect that both teams will start little bit careful, without headless attacks. Both teams likes to be in possession (Brazil 57,4% in avg. / Argentina 59% in avg.), passing accuracy is on high level (both of them around 85%), they have exactly the same number of tackles per match in average (19,3) and everything of that is just showing us that there is a big game in front of us. In my opinion odds are too much on Brazilian's side and even if I am publishing this little bit too late, because odds dropped in last hours, I can still see value in those odds. It's a derby and I am predicting a draw here, but wouldn't be too much surprised with away win.

It also needs to mentioned, that this will be the first match of Brazil in Belo Horizonte, on stadium where they lost against Germany with 7-1! 

FT: 3-0

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