It’s World Cup qualifying season in South America, as the first set of games are getting underway. These matches count towards qualifying towards the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Judging by the way the world is going with the coronavirus, the World Cup in 2022 might be the first big event in a post-pandemic world. Some people might point towards the Olympics in Japan next year, but I don’t think we’ll be back to normalcy then. I have more confidence in 2022.
There have been three matches played in the South American group stage. I don’t think there have been any surprises thus far. Argentina and Uruguay have wins, while Chile and Ecuador started out with losses. Meanwhile, Paraguay and Peru played to a 2-2 draw on Thursday. It was an entertaining match no doubt. Andre Carrillo scored at the 85 minute mark for Peru to earn a point. Nothing should be taken for granted in the qualifying stage for the World Cup.
Italy missed the World Cup for the first time since 1958 in 2018. That wasn’t the most dangerous Italian club, and Sweden deserved the spot over them, but they missed too many chances along the way to punch their ticket. Should Brazil be on notice going into the qualifying stage? I really don’t think so. This club is well built and will be going to Qatar in 2022. That said, Uruguay, Columbia, and Argentina are both top-10 nations and are not to be taken lightly.
Brazil is the class of this group, though, and if they play up to their full potential, they’re going to be more than fine. Brazilians are desperate for a World Cup in 2022. They haven’t been crowned champions since 2002. It would be fitting that 20 years later Brazil are champions again. Brazil lost to Belgium, 2-1, in the quarterfinal in 2018.
Conversely, Bolivia is just trying to find some respectability in South America. FIFA currently has them ranked 75th in the world, which puts them behind Guinea and Canada, and ahead of China and Uganda. There is a small bit of good news for Bolivia going into Friday night.
Neymar is not expected to participate because of a back injury. That would be a small win for the visitors in Sao Paulo at Corinthians Arena and the least Brazil could do to help them given this daunting task in front of Bolivia. Head below for our free Brazil vs. Bolivia pick for October 9, 2020 in the World Series qualifying stage.
Brazil vs. Bolivia 2022 World Cup Qualifying Betting Odds:
Brazil vs. Bolivia Prediction:
Neymar is doubtful for Brazil, but it might take a whole lot more for Bolivia to have a chance at pulling off an epic upset tonight. That includes Alisson and Gabriel Jesus, who are both expected to miss this match as well. The Bolivian national club has lost eight of their last nine international matches.
They were able to snap out of an eight-match losing streak last October versus Haiti. Bolivia emerged with a 3-1 win over Haiti, though take that win with a grain of salt. Haiti is the 86th ranked country in the world, so it was more of a case of picking on an inferior opponent.
Brazil and Bolivia met in the Copa America last June and it was a lopsided affair. Brazil won in all aspects of the match in a 3-0 victory. It probably could have been an even bigger win than that. They owned the time of possession with 74% as opposed to 26% for Bolivia.
Brazil put 20 shots towards the target, with 5 hitting, while Bolivia recorded 5 total shots and 1 hitting the target. Brazil had 4 big chances compared to none for Bolivia. A 3-0 win over South Korea on November 19, 2019 was the most recent match for Brazil. South Korea is a much better club than Bolivia, with a world ranking of 39th as opposed to 75th.
The home club should be able to name their score in this contest. There is more hype than usual surrounding Brazil going into the 2022 World Cup. BetOnline currently lists them as the favorites to win in Qatar at +550. I think they’ll be looking to make a statement against an inferior opponent on Friday night. If Neymar’s back injury lingers into the future, that is going to hurt, but shouldn’t versus Bolivia. This looks like a 4-0 win for Brazil.