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South American World Cup qualifying matchday 18 betting tips: Previews, predictions and odds

Lionel Messi

This is the 18th and final matchday of CONMEBOL World Cup 2022 qualifying.

All ten South American nations play each home-and-away in a round-robin group stage.

All four automatic qualification places have been filled by Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay.

Peru, Colombia and Chile are all in contention to finish fifth which earns at inter-confederation play-off place against a team from Asia.

Peru vs Paraguay

Can Peru keep their World Cup hopes alive?

On Thursday, their hopes of a top four finish came to an end after a 1-0 defeat to fourth-placed Uruguay at Estadio Centenario.

Although, this was certainly controversial as la Blanquirroja had a late equaliser, that clearly went over the line, not given.

Despite this controversy, Ricardo Gareca's side remain fifth in the table, one point above Colombia and two clear of Chile.

So, if Peru win this one in Lima, they'll wrap up fifth spot, regardless of the simultaneous results in Ciudad Guayana and Santiago.

Whoever takes fifth place will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs where they'll take on an Asian side, most likely Australia.

Under, Gareca, Peru have qualified for a first World Cup in 36 years and reached a first Copa América Final for 44 years.

Will they now keep the dream alive of being in Qatar in November?

Paraguay meanwhile have appeared at eight World Cups, including all four between 1998 and 2010, but will now miss a third in succession.

Los Guaraníes have won just three of 17 matches in this group although they did cause an upset by beating third-place Ecuador 3-1 on Thursday.

Robert Morales, an own goal and Miguel Almirón doing the damage at Estadio Antonio Aranda.

Nevertheless, Guillermo Barros Schelotto's side are down in eighth and will finish no higher than that.

Peru are unbeaten in eight meetings with Paraguay and, if they can just beat them at Estadio Nacional, they'll secure that all-important play-off spot.

Peru to win and both teams to score NO is 6/5. Peru to win and under 2.5 goals is 2/1.

Venezuela vs Colombia

If Peru do falter, Colombia are best-placed to capitalise.

Los Cafeteros have qualified for six World Cups, including each of the last two, but their attempts to make that seven have been, at best, calamitous.

Colombia won just three of their first 16 matches, suffering back-to-back, potentially, terminal defeats in January/February against Peru and Argentina.

However, they are, just about, still alive after hammering Bolivia 3-0 in Barranquilla on Thursday.

Luis Díaz, Miguel Borja and Mateus Uribe all on target at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez.

This saw Reinaldo Rueda's side move up to sixth in the standings, one point below Peru.

So, essentially, Colombia must win and hope Peru don't to take that all important inter-confederation play-off spot.

Given this high-pressure situation, Venezuela are perfect opponents.

La Vinotinto are the only CONMEBOL member who've never qualified for a World Cup and are currently bottom of the table with just ten points.

José Pékerman's side were easily beaten 3-0 by Argentina on Friday night, meaning they've won just seven of their last 49 competitive games.

All Colombia can do now is win at Estadio Cachamay and hope for a favour from Paraguay 1,500 miles south-west in Lima.

Colombia to win and both teams to score NO is 7/4. Colombia to win and under 2.5 goals is 13/5.

Chile vs Uruguay

If both Peru and Colombia fail to win, Chile have a chance to snatch the inter-confederation play-off place.

La Roja won back-to-back Copa Américas in 2015 and 2016 but then missed out on Russia 2018 on a dramatic final day.

Well, they're now on the verge of missing out on back-to-back World Cup appearances after a generally dismal campaign.

Of Thursday night, this Chile team looked broken, disheartened and out of ideas as they were demolished 4-0 by Brazil at the Maracanã.

This means they've now lost three of their last four World Cup qualifiers, only beating minnows Bolivia during this decisive period.

As a result, Martín Lasarte's side are down in seventh, one point below Colombia and, crucial, two adrift of Peru.

So, it's simple, Chile must win this one and hope both Peru and Colombia lose simultaneously for them to snatch the inter-confederation play-off place.

In stark contrast, no such worries for Uruguay who booked their ticket to Qatar with a vital victory on Thursday.

Giorgian de Arrascaeta got the only goal of the night as they, controversially, beat Peru 1-0 at Estadio Centenario.

So, the 1930 and 1950 winners will make their 14th World Cup appearance later this year having won all three qualifiers under Diego Alonso.

Will it be a night of celebration or crushing disappointment for Chile at Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo?

Under 2.5 goals is 3/4. Draw and under 2.5 goals is 3/1.

Ecuador vs Argentina

Not many would've predicted going into the final matchday this game would be third vs second in the table, well one half of that equation at least.

Ecuador have qualified for three of the last five World Cups but were not fancied by many for a top four finish this time round.

However, they won seven of their first 14 fixtures, leaving them in a great position coming into 2022.

So, despite a shock 3-1 defeat in Paraguay on Thursday, Gustavo Alfaro's side had done enough and qualification for Qatar was secured.

So, expect this to be a night of celebration in Guayaquil.

Argentina meanwhile had to win a last-day decider to qualify for Russia 2018 but no such worries for la Albiceleste.

On Friday night, Lionel Scaloni's side hammered Venezuela 3-0 at La Bombonera, meaning they remain unbeaten in this qualification cycle.

Nicolás González and Ángel Di María on target before Lionel Messi bundled in his 81st international goal.

Next up, Argentina will face Italy at Wembley in Finalísima, but a third World Cup triumph, and first since 1986, is what they're really interested in.

Argentina have won their last four meetings with Ecuador, most recently a 3-0 victory in last summer's Copa América quarter-finals.

Will this one go the away team's way at Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo?

Both teams to score is 11/10. Argentina to win and both teams to score is 9/2.

Bolivia vs Brazil

Will Brazil finish yet another World Cup qualifying cycle unbeaten?

This is the fourth consecutive cycle in which Brazil will finish top of the CONMEBOL table, sat four points clear of Argentina.

Tite's side secured first place last Thursday by hammering Chile 4-0 at the Maracanã.

Neymar and then Vinícius Júnior scored quick-fire goals just before the break before Philippe Coutinho and Richarlison secured the win later on.

The Seleção have now won 13 of 16 matches in this group and will extend their record as the only nation to appear at every World Cup Finals.

Will Brazil conclude this successful campaign with a victory in La Paz?

Bolivia meanwhile haven't made it to a World Cup since USA '94 and that won't be changing in Qatar.

La Verde have won four of their 17 matches so far and haven't won more than that in a single cycle since the campaign 28 years ago.

Last time out, César Farías' side were hammered 3-0 by Colombia at Barranquilla, meaning they've lost all three matches in 2022.

But, Bolivia remains the classic tough place to go with each of their last 30 World Cup qualifying wins coming at home with the high-altitude.

Also, all five of Bolivia's victories over Brazil have come at home, the last three of which have been in World Cup qualifiers.

If Brazil are to leave Estadio Hernando Siles victories, they're going to have to work for it.

Both teams to score is 19/20. Brazil to win and both teams to score is 9/4. Brazil to win and over 2.5 goals is 6/5.

CONMEBOL World Cup 2022 qualifying table:

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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