Editorial (March 30, 2018) – The FIFA World Cup 2018 is closing it, and the five teams that represent CONMEBOL recently had their last challenge before the kick-off in Russia on June 14th.
Analysis of the CONMEBOL World Cup Teams two Months Before the FIFA World Cup
Here’s an analysis of the five CONMEBOL teams after their last two friendly games:
“The Giant of the South” proved why they are solid candidates to lift the trophy at the end of the World Cup.
Brazil trashed the World Cup host country Russia 3-0 without Neymar, their main player, as the offensive side is still dangerous with Phillipe Coutinho, Paulinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Firminho, and Douglas Costa, all of them at their prime and playing well in Europe.
But not only is Brazil’s attacking a nightmare, the Verdeamarelha team coach Tite has found a way to strengthen the defensive side, and the best was against Germany, another great candidate to win the World Cup and the team who beat 7-1 at Maracana four years ago.
Brazil managed to take advantaged this time, and flew out of Berlin with a 1-0 victory over the last world champions.
Brazil is the last CONMEBOL team who won the World Cup back in 2002, and they have show they can dominated even with Neymar’s absence. That is why they can take-it-all .
Prediction: Brazil is in the Group E, alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. There’s a possibility they face off Germany In the Round of 16. But if that’s the case or not, Brazil is a team built to end up in the podium.
The second most compact team of South America also passed the challenge in its last two friendlies. The two time world champions beat Czech Republic 2-0 and Wales 1-0 to continue their great form.
Coach Óscar Tabárez has clear ideas, and one of the Uruguay’s main plans is to focus its game in Matias Vecino, the Inter Milan’s midfielder is the brain of the team and he organize the offensive side, trying to find the lethal forward duo Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani.
But also the defense has been the DNA of Uruguay. The other teams who will have to figure out how to drive through the defense, particularly between the Atlético Madrid’s pair Diego Godín and José Giménez.
Prediction: Uruguay is placed in group A with the host Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In the knockout stage they could face Portugal or Spain. For that reason, Uruguay run can finish at the Round of 16. Regardless, the Celeste is one of those team that can make a huge impact in the tournament.
If there’s a team that is prepared to give a surprise, that is Colombia. The Cafeteros still have that bittersweet savoir for their elimination in 2014 against Brazil in the quarter-final.
This time will be as tough as it was in the last four years ago, but might be different because of the presence of the Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, who missed the Brazil World Cup due an injury.
Colombia cameback to 0-2 to defeat France 3-2 in a friendly game, and that game spoke for itself.
Colombia showed several defensive mistakes, especially in the first half, but the match also proves Colombia’s capacity to remain calm and capitalized its chances.
Bayern Munchen star James Rodríguez will be determinant player for his country, but Falcao and Sevilla attacker Luis Muriel will be a trouble for opposite teams.
Prediction: Colombia has to play in Group H with Poland, Senegal an Japan. They have big chances to advance. But in the next round they probably will face off either England or Belgium. Colombia could go out in the Round of 16.
One of the team that supposed to be a candidate, is now on the eye of the critics.
The Argentinian team and its coach Jorge Sampaoli are a squad full of doubt right now, after their demolishing 6-1 loss to Spain.
Surely, they play without their best and most important player, Lionel Messi, but a defeated like that always makes noises. Argentina have just two players who have secured their spot to Russia: Lionel Messi and Nicolás Otamendi.
The team has prove once again they are Messi-dependent, and that is the biggest problem for the 2014 World Cup runners-up.
Messi was in the bench in the 2-0 triumph over Italy and in the loss against Spain. It was a test of Sampaoli to see if his roster can react without his main player.
The experiment was not good at all. Against Italy there were just a few point to critic to the defense. But against an actually contender like Spain, the disorder flourished.
Argentina has two months to fix its problems. By now, Sampaoli has the hard decision of who deserve to go to the World Cup, besides Messi and Otamendi, the more consistent players of the team.
Prediction: Argentina will fight in Group D against Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. The level of Messi will determinate Argentina’s path, but they have enough talent to reach at least the quarter-finals.
Few people talks about the modest Peruvian team, and they did a big effort to qualify to Russia. Peru beat Croatia 2-0 to prove they can be competitive, but they have been in an uncomfortable situation with his captain and striker Paolo Guerrero.
Guerrero’s doping accusation has Perú in an inconstant balance.
FIFA banned him with a 30-day-suspension last November after failing a doping test. Guerrero’s future is uncertain, and his participation in the World Cup is a doubt.
However, Perú coach Ricardo Gareca does not let Guerrero’s case affect the team, they have some business ahead. Perú advance to the World Cup for the first time in 30 years, and it seems they can put good battles against any team.
Predictión: Perú form the Group C with France, Denmark and Australia. Gareca’s squad can earn an spot to the next round, but in the knockout stage they will probably play Argentina or even Croatia again. They are a good team that can reach the Round of 16.