After last month’s turbulent round of World Cup qualification matches, for their next games Brazil can boast a full squad and a clear objective: booking their ticket for Qatar.
The Selecao have a perfect record of eight wins from their eight qualifiers so far ahead of today’s trip to Venezuela, followed by a clash away to Colombia on Sunday and the visit of Uruguay next week.
Three more victories could possibly secure Brazil’s qualification in record time.
“Obviously, it’s always good to qualify as soon as possible,” said Juventus’s 30-year-old fullback Alex Sandro.
“However, we always think about playing to win, playing our best, showing everything we’ve been working on.
“In the next games we’re going to do our best to secure qualification.”
Like Brazil, Copa America champions Argentina’s qualification looks to be a formality but the battle behind them for the remaining two places is fierce.
Brazil lead the single South American qualifying table by six points from Argentina and their in-form Lionel Messi, who last week opened his account for Paris Saint-Germain with a wonder goal to seal a 2-0 Champions League win over Manchester City.
The unbeaten Argentina travels to Paraguay today, hosts Uruguay on Sunday and then entertain Peru next week.
Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay are separated by just four points, with another nine matches still to play.
Uruguay entertain Colombia today boosted by the return of the country’s two leading lights, Luis Suarez, from injury, and Edinson Cavani, who was prevented from traveling in September by his club Manchester United.
They were hardly missed last month, as Uruguay picked up seven points out of a possible nine.
But after Colombia, they travel to Argentina and Brazil.
Even so, Cavani is feeling bullish, saying Uruguay will “try not to drop points at home” and can “go out and compete anywhere.” – AFP