The football rivalry between Brazil and Argentina is famed as one of the greatest in sport. It’s also one of the closest. In 98 meetings, they’ve won 36 matches each. The rest were draws, obviously. Why do I even have to write that? Because I care about you being clued in, pal.
Brazil have been on an absolute roll since their Olympic stars came back to play for the senior side after winning gold in Rio. Tite’s side have scored 12 goals in four successive wins, seven of which have been put into the back of the net by either Neymar or Gabriel Jesus. They’re playing with real rhythm and verve right now and will relish the chance to play an out-of-sorts Argentina.
Lionel Messi’s decision to reverse his retirement didn’t automatically make Argentina click again. They’ve only won one of their last four games, a run that has seen them drop to sixth in the South American standings, one place behind Chile, who are in the play-off spot.
Sergio Aguero is badly out of form for his country and missed a penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Paraguay. The fans are beginning to turn on the Manchester City striker but he still has the faith of manager Edgardo Bauza. It’s Brazil’s first game in Belo Horizonte since You-Know-When.
Brazil predicted XI: Alisson, Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Luis, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar, Jesus
Argentina predicted XI: Romero, Mercado, Demichelis, Mascherano, Rojo, Banega, Gaitan, Rojo, Di Maria, Messi, Higuain