The mother of all battles is here. Brazil may take on Argentina in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, but the intensity of the match is nothing less than that of a World Cup showdown. So crucial and important is the match in the history of football.
The two giants of world football renew their rivalry on Thursday as they go head-to-head at the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This is the 107th meeting between Brazil and Argentina. SCHEDULE OF THE MATCH HERE.
Here are some important facts to know ahead of the match.
- Brazil fullback Dani Alves will be paying tribute to the legendary Carlos Alberto, who passed away recently, by wearing the jersey no. 4. Alves, who usually wears a jersey with the number 2 on the back, will also be donning a white band with the words "Everlasting captain" mentioned.
- The rest of the Brazil team will wear a black band to mourn the death of Alberto.
- Argentina hotshot striker Sergio Aguero is not a part of the starting XI for the match, the national team's holding manager Edgardo Bauza has mentioned. Instead, he has decided to field a four-man attacking force including Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Enzo Perez.
- Another key attacker of Argentina, Paulo Dybala, is out of the game owing to injury.
- The main fight in the match will take place between the Brazil defence, composed of Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Marcelo, and the lethal Argentina attack, spearheaded by the little magician Messi.
- In the head to head record, Brazil have an upper hand as they won 43 matches, in comparison to Argentina's 38.
Expected starting XI
Brazil: Alisson; D.Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Fernandinho, Paulinho, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar; G.Jesus.
Argentina (confirmed): Romero; Zabaleta, Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mas; Perez, Biglia, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain.