Argentina’s Lionel Messi reacts during a qualifying soccer match against Peru for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (Ernesto Benavides, Pool via AP)
- After a long and grueling club season in football, it is now time to focus on five South American World Cup Qualifiers taking place over the course of Thursday and Friday
- This week represents Matchday Five of the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers with Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay sitting in the top four spots
- See the odds and our predictions for this week’s South American World Cup Qualifier matchups below
After a week or so of rest, it is back to football for the best international players in the world. Some will be playing friendlies overseas, but in South America, World Cup Qualifiers are taking place on Thursday and Friday. In CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, World Cup Qualifiers take place over 18 different matchdays.
The top four teams in the table advance to the World Cup, while the fifth team is placed in an Inter-Confederation playoff match.
Often times, these World Cup Qualifiers or competitions tend to sort themselves out fairly early. This statement rings true so far as the favorites in South America have all had strong starts in their dreams of playing in Qatar. However, Columbia, who are ranked as the 15th best side in the world, currently sit in seventh place. Can they finally build some form and cash in on three points against Peru?
South America World Cup Qualifiers Odds
|Bolivia vs Venezuela||-112||+260||+310|
|Uruguay vs Paraguay||-155||+300||+415|
|Argentina vs Chile||-190||+335||+500|
|Peru vs Columbia||+245||+220||+125|
|Brazil vs Ecuador||-375||+450||+1100|
Odds as of June 1st at DraftKings
Furthermore, Brazil sits atop the table, having collected all 12 possible points from their first four games. Despite only losing once in their first four matches, third-place Ecuador are tasked with challenging Tite’s side. Elsewhere, Uruguay play Paraguay as both team currently sit level on six points a piece, and Chile look to upset a tough Argentinean side.
Uruguay vs Paraguay Prediction
The first massive clash of Matchday 5 in the South America World Cup Qualifiers is definitely between Uruguay and Paraguay. Despite only winning once against Venezuela, Paraguay have managed to stay in the middle of the table, within an arms reach of their Thursday competition. As they face a Uruguay side without star striker Edison Cavani, they should remain hopeful of their chances of at least grasping a point.
Luis Suarez’s title-winning goal for Atletico ⚽🏆pic.twitter.com/tYdy9MjdZx
— Goal (@goal) May 25, 2021
However, even without Cavani, Uruguay still have Luis Suarez who can hurt any defense. Suarez was scintillating this season for Atletico Madrid, scoring 21 goals in their title campaign. Additionally, Uruguay has won the match two head-to-head matches by a combined score of 6-1. Not only will Uruguay win, but they will win by a handful.
My Pick: Uruguay -1.5 (+195)
Argentina vs Chile Prediction
Next, further up the table, we see second-place Argentina versus sixth-place Chile, taking place on Thursday as well. Despite slipping against Paraguay, Argentina have been consistently good in this round of World Cup Qualifiers. They have a strong group of players who are not only good, but are on a strong run of form individually. With Emi Martinez from Aston Villa possible starting in goal and the likes of Juan Foyth, Nicolas Tagliafico and Rodrigo De Paul also possibly starting, this could be an energized Argentina team.
⚡Ángel Di Maria and @Argentina are putting in work ahead of their #WCQ2022 match against Chile Thursday! 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/C0WUsl6uyL
— Ligue1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) June 1, 2021
Did I also mention Sergio Aguero and Leo Messi? This Argentina side is ridiculous from front to back, and while Chile have also been strong, they simply do not have that level of firepower to compete with Argentina. With the rest most of these players have received, and the fact this is the first match back in qualifying, Argentina will win this match with ease.
My Pick: Argentina -1 (-112)
UEFA Euro 2020 Odds Tracker
Brazil vs Ecuador Prediction
Lastly, CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifier leaders, Brazil take on Ecuador in a David versus Goliath type matchup. In fact, the last time Ecuador won this match was in 2004 when Kaka, Cafu and Roberto Carlos were all still playing for Brazil. Things are obviously much different now, but with four wins in four games, Brazil is obviously expected to win this fixture again. With that being said, bets in this match will be more valuable if placed away from the clear moneyline odds.
Additionally, with the likes of Richarlson, Roberto Firmino, Neymar and Vinicius Jr. in the squad for Brazil, Tite’s side is full of goals. Despite being in third place of CONMEBOL’s World Cup Qualifiers, Ecuador does not have the strongest defense. Furthermore, they have also somehow scored more goals so far than the Brazilians. With the two best offenses playing each other, you have to expect the over on total goals to be a sure-fire pick.
My Pick: Over 2.5 total goals (+128)
Josh Ricker is a freelance sports journalist, currently attending the University of Southern Maine (Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and Marketing). He has recently interned with the AA Portland Sea Dogs, and his work has been featured on Fansided, as well as now here on SBD.