Brazil vs Argentina 2026 World Cup Qualifier Preview: History, Prediction, Team News

Brazil vs Argentina 2026 World Cup Qualifier Preview: History, Prediction, Team News

Edwin Kiplagat
November 19, 2023 at 10:28 AM
  • Brazil welcome Argentina in a highly-anticipated 2026 World Cup qualifying clash this week
  • Both sides lost their previous matches in CONMEBOL qualifying
  • Sports Brief takes a closer look at the iconic fixture, team news and prediction

The FIFA 2026 World Cup CONMEBOL qualifiers always deliver in terms of entertainment and drama. It is one of the most compelling confederations in world football.

World Cup champions Argentina were stunned at home by Uruguay last week, and that game had plenty of talking points. Lionel Messi and company travel to face Brazil on Wednesday, November 22.

These two nations are arguably the biggest football nations on earth, with countless iconic footballers, World Cups, and incredible moments in the sport

Brazil, Argentina, 2026 World Cup, CONMEBOL, Lionel Messi, Vinicius Junior, Gabriel Martinelli, Colombia, Uruguay
Brazil vs Argentina is one of the biggest rivalries in international football. Photos by Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/LightRocket and Gabriel Aponte.
Source: Getty Images

When someone talks about international football, Argentina and Brazil always come up. La Albiceleste won the 2022 World Cup, but Brazil's fortunes have dwindled significantly since their famous 2002 World Cup win.

These two rivals meet this week. This fixture is more than a football match, and Sports Brief previews this iconic matchup.

Brazil vs Argentina history

Argentina and Brazil first met in a 1914 friendly in Buenos Aires. La Albiceleste won the first clash 3-0, and since then, the head-to-head record has remained close. According to Transfermarkt, these two sides have met 108 times, with Brazil winning 45, Argentina 40 and 23 have ended in a draw.

Argentina beat Brazil 6-0 in 1940, while Brazil won 6-2 in 1945.

This fixture always had controversy. For instance, at the 1990 World Cup, Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16 in Turin, but there are rumours that a Brazilian defender, Branco, was given water laced with tranquiliser, per the Irish Times.

Brazil's most memorable win over Argentina came at the 1982 World Cup. Tele Santana's majestic Brazil eliminated Argentina in the second round.

There are so many stories to tell about this rivalry, and it is arguably the biggest in international football.

Brazil so far in World Cup qualifying

Brazil dropped to 5th in the table after losing to Colombia in their last match. The five-time World Cup winners have now lost two consecutive FIFA World Cup qualifier matches

The good news for Brazil ahead of their clash against their bitter rivals is they have never lost a home match in World Cup qualifying.

They have also played at every World Cup tournament since 1930. However, their performances have dropped drastically since their triumph in 2002.

Their teams, compared to their World Cup-winning teams, have experienced a serious drop in quality. After five games in the qualifiers, they have won two, lost two and drawn once. Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Venezuela are above them in the table.

Argentina so far in World Cup qualifying

Argentina's 14-game unbeaten run was ended by Uruguay, who beat them 2-0 at home. Lionel Messi's side had not lost a match since their historic 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first match at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Before that, they had won four of their first five matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifying. They are still on top of the table, but that defeat to Uruguay was a wake-up call.

Argentina will need to step up when facing a team that has never lost a World Cup qualifying match.

Brazil team news and probable lineups

Brazil lost Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior to injury against Colombia. The 23-year-old winger is set to be out for a few months with a tear in his left femoral bicep.

Their superstar, Neymar Jr, is still a long-term absentee and remains a major doubt for the 2024 Copa America.

Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Rodrygo and Raphinha should be called u8pon to fill those positions.

Brazil possible line-up: (4-4-2): Alisson; Royal, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Lodi; Raphinha, Guimaraes, Andre, Martinelli; Rodrygo, Pedro.

Argentina team news and probable lineups

Nottingham Forest's Gonzalo Montiel is a concern ahead of the match, but Nahuel Molina is a possible alternative.

After playing 90 minutes in a physical encounter against Uruguay, Lionel Messi will be a concern given his age. Besides that, Lionel Scaloni has almost a full squad to pick from.

Argentina possible line-up (4-3-3): Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Mac Allister, Fernandez; Messi, Alvarez, Gonzalez.

Brazil vs Argentina prediction

This will be a close fixture since both sides are looking to bounce back from defeat. Argentina's pedigree and Brazil's incredible home form means this clash could end in a draw, a 1-1 draw, to be precise.

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Messi escapes punishment during fracas

Sports Brief reported on Messi escaping being sent off after appearing to elbow Uruguay defender, Oliveira during a melee in the first half of the World Cup qualifying game.

The Inter Miami superstar claimed the Uruguayan players made some disrespectful gestures during the game, which led to the incident, but would not go into further detail.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.
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