Just two matchdays remain in South American World Cup qualifying.
Brazil and Argentina have already qualified; Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela are all out of contention.
Uruguay vs Peru
A huge World Cup qualifier between two sides who have everything to play for with just two matchdays remaining.
As it stands, Uruguay occupy the final automatic qualification spot while Peru would be heading for the inter-confederation play-offs.
However, there’s just one point between the two, while both Chile and Colombia are not yet out the running.
In short, the winners would take a huge step towards Qatar, while the losers at Estadio Centenario will be in big danger of missing out.
Uruguay lept into fourth by winning both fixtures during the last international window, 1-0 in Paraguay and 4-1 against Venezuela.
Those were their first matches after legendary manager Óscar Tabárez had been sacked; he’d been in charge for 194 games spanning 15 years.
But, if Diego Alonso makes it three wins out of three here, la Celeste would qualify for Qatar, if Chile fail to beat Brazil in Rio simultaneously.
Peru meanwhile qualified for Russia 2018, their first World Cup for 36 years, and are very much in the running this time too.
La Blanquirroja haven’t won away to Uruguay for 18 years but, if they changed that here, Ricardo Gareca’s team would be in pole positition to take fourth.
Brazil vs Chile
As has been the case in each of the last three cycles they’ve entered, will Brazil finish top of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying?
As usual, Seleção have found World Cup qualification a breeze, winning 12 of 15 matches, drawing the other three.
In fact, Tite’s side have only lost one of 28 competitive matches since Russia 2018, although that was the 2021 Copa América Final against Argentina.
Nevertheless, given that they’re four points clear of their great rivals, Brazil will wrap up top spot with a victory at the Maracanã.
In contrast, Chile have everything to play for.
Right now, la Roja are sixth in the table, winning just five of 16 games, so are currently outside the qualification positions.
Martín Lasarte’s side are two points below Peru and three adrift of Uruguay; they face the latter in Santiago on Tuesday.
So, Chile really can’t afford to leave Rio de Janeiro empty handed, looking to win away to Brazil for the first time ever.
This doesn’t appear likely as the hosts have never lost a World Cup qualifier on home soil, a run of 63 fixtures and counting.
Argentina vs Venezuela
Despite enduring last day drama five years ago, Argentina have wrapped up World Cup qualification with plenty to spare this time round.
La Albiceleste are unbeaten after 15 matches in this group, winning ten, despite their matchday six trip to Brazil being abandoned in bizarre circumstances.
Having also won the Copa América last summer, their first trophy since 1993, Lionel Scaloni’s side are unbeaten in 23 competitive games.
They’ll be looking to continue that record in this week’s double-header before the inaugural Finalísima against Italy in June.
In contrast, Venezuela are rock bottom of the group with just ten points to their name,
La Vinotinto are the only CONMEBOL nation who’ve never qualified for a World Cup and that doesn’t look like changing any time soon.
Argentina have won 23 of 27 meetings against Venezuela with their only competitive defeat coming in Puerto la Cruz 11 years ago.
Colombia vs Bolivia
Can Colombia keep their rapidly fading World Cup hopes alive?
Right now, having won just three of 16 matches, los Cafeteros are seventh in the group, four points below the all-important dotted line.
Thus, in short, Reinaldo Rueda’s side must win their final two fixtures to have any chance of qualifying, even if via the inter-confederation play-offs.
Colombia though haven’t won back-to-back games since Copa América 2019, but there is hope.
Their remaining two games are against nations who’ve already been eliminated, starting with this one in Barranquilla.
As for Bolivia, since appearing at their last World Cup, USA ’94, they’ve won just 26 of 120 World Cup qualifiers, never winning more than four in one cycle.
La Verde have hit the ceiling of four victories again this time round so sit eighth and are all-but mathematically out of the running.
As usual, all of their victories have come in La Paz, meaning they’ve won none of their last 29 competitive game played outside Bolivia, losing 27.
Their last World Cup qualifying win on the road came against Venezuela way back in 1993.
Paraguay vs Ecuador
Can Ecuador, against the odds, rubber stamp their place at Qatar 2022?
La Tricolor have previously appeared at the World Cups of 2002, 2006 and 2014, but very few considered them a serious contender this time round.
However, Gustavo Alfaro’s side have won seven of 16 fixtures so far meaning they sit third, four points clear of Peru in fifth.
Thus, a victory for Ecuador at Estadio Antonio Aranda would secure a top four finish.
Paraguay meanwhile qualified for all four World Cups between 1998 and 2010 but are out of contention this time with just 13 points to their name.
Los Guaraníes are currently winless in seven matches, claiming victory in only 11 of their last 47 competitive games.
On the other hand, Ecuador have never beaten Paraguay in Paraguay, so need to make history here.
CONMEBOL World Cup 2022 qualifying table:
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