Denied, injured, suspended, in the chapel … The triple date of the Eliminatory that begins this Thursday is marked by a bad absence. A majority of national teams are missing players for various reasons. Adding those who did not come from England because the Premier League clubs did not want to give them up, those affected by injuries or suspensions, there are 44 players who will not be able to start in this new call for the national jersey. And after these three days it is possible that that number will increase considerably because there are dozens of reprimands and because surely there will be new physical problems. So the triple date of October could present even more setbacks.
However, the ball will roll and emotion will not be lacking. The most important condiment is that in all stadiums it will be seen public since an attendance of at least 30% of the capacity has been authorized. And in this sport the public is an ingredient as fundamental as the game itself.. It is the good part in this very rugged World Cup qualification.
The first point of analysis has to do with Brazil. So numerically perfect has been his first third of the competition (18 points in 6 games) that, If he won these three matches (Chile, Argentina and Peru) he would be virtually classified because whoever reaches 27 units will in fact be in Qatar 2022. There is no regulation that says it, but all the previous qualifiers certify it: with 27 there is paradise. Of course, due to the refusal of the English clubs to release the players, Brazil disaffected the goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson, Thiago Silva, Fabinho, Fred, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesús, Firmino and Richarlison (undoubtedly the most important of the nine ). Nor did a new squad arrive, Matheus Nunes, who plays in the Portuguese league. And Coutinho, who has not played for ten months. As it is going downhill and with a favorable wind, in order not to complicate the players with their clubs, Tite preferred to disinfect them and not litigate for them.
Brazil will measure Chile in Santiago. A Chile that risks its life because it is seventh with just 6 points and, if it loses at home, it will have to go find the points in the next two days in Quito and Barranquilla, a very cumbersome task. If falling into the three commitments, it could be said that La Roja is sooooo far from Qatar. To make matters worse, he is missing his striker and historical assistant Alexis Sánchez, damaged, and the English Blackburn and Watford denied Brereton (a revelation in the Copa América) and Sierralta.
There are three teams that came out of the Cup strengthened in Brazil: Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Not because of their tournament locations, but because they found the team or the performance or, in the case of Peru, several interesting new players. Argentina ended the curse of 28 years without titles and did so by beating Brazil in Maracana (without receiving a single goal-scoring situation, pay attention to that). For the first time in years there is absolute tranquility in the Albiceleste tournament. There is no pressure or journalistic cannibalism on the team. The group is united as never before and understood how the matches should play: all as a final, leaving life, as is required of an Argentine team. There is an excellent base of quality and quantity that Argentina had not had for a long time. They touch Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia. The first and last seem easy, but easy there is nothing now. Everything is so complicated that Argentina celebrates that Vinotinto is missing four heavyweights: Yordan Osorio, Salomón Rondón, Yangel Herrera and Darwin Machís. Argentina has no injuries, but there are two suspended (Romero and Paredes) and seven reprimands, six of them starters.
Colombia had had a terrible start in the World Cup race, but Reinaldo Rueda arrived and rearranged it. It put her back in the top five. And immediately he was third in the Copa América, leaving good feelings. He has a goal problem, the forwards do not score, however he regained his confidence, found a crack sensational (Luis Díaz) and has what is possibly the best midfield in the region: Cuadrado, Wilmar Barrios and Mateus Uribe. Colombia regrets the absences of Yerry Mina and Muriel, two usually fixed. But he should go well, although he has a dangerous start against Bolivia in La Paz.
Peru changed its face in the Copa América, so much so that Gareca dared to predict: “We will fight a place to go World Cup, I am convinced”. This because several players appeared such as Lapadula, midfielder Sergio Peña, full-back Marcos López, and Renato Tapia and André Carrillo are in a great moment, in addition to the already known Yotún, Gallese, Guerrero.
Uruguay will suffer the loss of its three best forwards: Suárez, Cavani and Darwin Núñez, plus the midfielders De la Cruz and Facundo Torres. Good news for Ecuador, which faces him next Thursday. La Celeste is also urged to add, because Colombia, Paraguay and Chile are on their heels.
And Ecuador …? Taking out Jhegson Méndez and Arboleda, injured, and Piero Hincapié suspended, the others are available for Gustavo Alfaro. It is one of the five teams that will have two home games and one visit. The three against direct rivals, that is why this triple confrontation will be so vital. Beating Paraguay and Chile would mean sinking them into the table and distancing themselves from them. We will see if the coach manages to straighten the course, lost in the last two dates of the World Cup (against Brazil and Peru) and, above all, in the Copa América, in which victory did not smile. He has practically the entire crew and still ranks third. You can not live clinging to the excuse and always complain about the referee. Time to add. If he achieved three wins, especially because of the opponents he will face, he will have taken a giant step towards the World Cup. Paraguay will be missing two key elements: its captain Gustavo Gómez and its star Micky Almirón. Better, impossible. (OR)