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World Cup qualifying in CONMEBOL continues on Thursday with first-place Brazil on the verge of qualifying as they welcome Colombia to Sao Paolo. The home side are 10-1-0 so far with 26 goals scored and just four conceded, and they could very well qualify for next year’s World Cup if the results go their way this month. Colombia, meanwhile, are in fourth with 16 points and far from in a comfortable position with six games to go.
Here’s are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
Brazil: While there are some big names in attack, as usual, this squad from Tite also features some young players looking to continue to make a positive impression ahead of the World Cup. Leeds United star Raphinha is back in the squad, as is Ajax’ Antony, providing serious depth going forward. Against a Colombia defense that isn’t quite disciplined, the technical ability and speed of these attackers could cause serious trouble for Los Cafeteros. Expect Neymar to start but don’t be surprised if Raphinha also gets the nod after scoring twice against Uruguay in October.
Colombia: All eyes are going to be on 24-year-old attacker Luis Diaz, who is going to earn himself a big-money move to a massive club before long. The Porto man continues to be electric for both club and country and almost got his team into the Copa America final over the summer. His pace and shooting ability, especially from tight angles, means this Brazil defense must close down on him quickly. If Diaz can combine with those playing ahead of him, especially with short, quick passes into space, there is no reason why Colombia can fight for a point in the end.
Raphinha scores again, and Brazil qualify for the World Cup as a result with other games also going their way. Pick: Brazil 2, Colombia 1
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