Football

Brazil vs Argentina: Teams and Predicted Playing XIs

Neymar is glad Lionel Messi is not in the Argentina squad to torment Brazil
Neymar is glad Lionel Messi is not in the Argentina squad to torment Brazil

North of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, there is a stadium that is called The Shining Jewel. King Abdullah Sports City, with a capacity of nearly 63,000, is home to Al-Ahli Saudi FC and Al-Ittihad Club.

On Tuesday night, it will play host to one of the biggest fixtures in world football – Brazil vs Argentina. The Superclásico de las Américas – to be played more than 10,000 km away from either of the two South American nations.

But one shining jewel of a footballer will remain absent. Argentina’s Lionel Messi is yet to play for La Albiceleste since their disastrous World Cup campaign and there is no word yet on when he could return to the national side as he takes an extended leave of absence.

Argentina’s stand-in coach Lionel Scaloni has had to work without him and is looking to get the best out of the squad, knowing full well that a new coach will be appointed in December.

“I hope Messi is [in the squad] in the future, he is the best player in the world. If he is not, we should try to play as a team, that is the idea, that we play as a team and we are difficult to beat.” – Lionel Scaloni

On the other hand, Brazil will play with Neymar in the side. The Paris Saint-Germain star was happy to note that Messi wouldn’t be involved but also pointed out that their continental rivals still had Paulo Dybala.

“For those who love football, having Messi out of a game like this is bad. But for us it’s good. We never underestimate Argentina’s quality, the players they have in their squad.

“Argentina have Dybala, who is a player that I really like, so we have to be switched on.” – Neymar

This match is billed as a friendly. But when these two teams take on each other, it usually is anything but. “Argentina-Brazil is never a friendly match on the pitch,” said Mauro Icardi. “It will never be.”

How Brazil could line up against Argentina

Brazil coach Tite has a selection headache when it comes to choosing which goalkeeper starts. But since Ederson played in their 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia last week, we could see Alisson get a start. The two goalkeepers enjoy a healthy rivalry for the starting spot.

Miranda and Marquinhos will most likely start as the two centre-backs. Meanwhile, Danilo could start at right-back while Marcelo could return to the lineup at left-back.

Philippe Coutinho could play in midfield for Brazil
Philippe Coutinho could play in midfield for Brazil

With a 4-3-3 formation, the midfield could see Casemiro playing at the base while Arthur could be given a start after coming on as a substitute in the previous game. Philippe Coutinho could drop to midfield for this game.

The forward trio will see Neymar on the left while Richarlison could be given a chance on the right. Gabriel Jesus may still get the nod but Roberto Firmino could get a chance to start up front.

How Argentina could line up against Brazil

Argentina had a good warm-up match with a 4-0 win over Iraq last week. This is a new-look Argentina side with many senior players giving way to younger, inexperienced players.

Scaloni will also look to play a 4-3-3 even though he did joke that they would park the bus against Brazil. Sergio Romero is expected to start in goal with Nicolas Otamendi and German Pezzellastarting at centre-back.

Renzo Saravia, who made his international debut last month, could start at right-back again while Nicolas Tagliafico starts at left-back. Leandro Paredes will be their defensive midfielder in the middle of the park.

Can Mauro Icardi impress for Argentina?
Can Mauro Icardi impress for Argentina?

The other two midfielders Scaloni could pick are Rodrigo Battaglia and Giovani Lo Celso, both of whom were unused against Iraq. The front three is where Argentina are quite strong with Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa expected to start on either side of Mauro Icardi.

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