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Brazil vs Argentina

Friday brings the most anticipated international fixture in world football, with the King Saud University Stadium hosting Brazil vs Argentina.

Five-time world champions Brazil made their intentions clear in the previous international break, calling a star-studded side to face Nigeria and Senegal.

Argentina were also impressive in their last two friendly matches and similarly used their full squad against Germany and Ecuador.

That’s enough evidence that these two sides have started their preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Brazil

Saudi Arabian fans have every reason to fill up the stadium as both teams are going all out. Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho are all included in the squad, alongside former teammate Philippe Coutinho.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus returned to the national team in the last international break for the matches against Nigeria and Senegal after his two-month ban from international football following his controversial dismissal in July’s Copa America final.

Tite’s men were rather disappointing against the African giants were they drew both matches 1-1 but the results won’t concern the South American champions that much as they are clearly trying out new formations and building for the World Cup.

Brazil have also called on Real Madrid’s wonderkid Rodrygo, who was rewarded after his outstanding performances in La Liga and UEFA Champions League where he scored a hat-trick.

Aston Villa’s uncapped midfielder Douglas Ruiz also earned his first national call-up. The other debut call-ups include Real Betis right-back Emerson and Roma goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato.

Argentina

Since losing the 2014 World Cup final, Argentina haven’t been the same and maybe they’ve been guilty of using the same team.

However, La Albiceleste are still one of the most dangerous and strongest teams in world football and you can never write them off.

Crucially, star player Lionel Messi returns from suspension since the Copa America third-place playoff between Argentina and Chile, in which he was sent off.

The last time these sides rubbed shoulders was during the Copa America Semi-Final where Argentina lost the encounter 2-0, courtesy of goals from Premier League stars Gabriel Jesus and Firmino.

That semi-final result was the last time the Argentines tasted defeat. In the last international break they showed character coming from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 draw against Germany, before then going on to thrash Ecuador 6-1.

Verdict

Argentina (2/1)

This will definitely be a close game, but Argentina may want it more with a lot of negativities currently surrounding them. This will likely be the last World Cup for the golden generation to deliver.

Both teams are testing fresh formations and tactics but there’s more experience in the Argentina squad. We fancy the Argentinians at 2/1.

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