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South America World Cup Qualifiers Matchdays 5-6 review and predictions

South America’s attention is currently directed towards the upcoming Copa America 2021, but the World Cup qualifying campaign deserves some attention.

With six World Cup qualification matchdays gone, we have a clearer picture of the potential CONMEBOL participants at the final tournament. You can use this boylesport sign up offer to star betting on the World Cup qualification hopefuls, but make sure you read through the full review and predictions at the end of this article first.

Matchday 5

Brazil, who went into Matchday 5 as the top team in the standings, confirmed their status as the supreme force in South American football with a 2-0 home win against Ecuador.

Richarlison and Neymar were on the scoresheet for the Selecao, who remain firmly on course of earning their place at the World Cup finals as the winners of the CONMEBOL qualifying section.

Meanwhile, a defeat in Porto Alegre ended Ecuador’s run of three consecutive qualifying victories, marking only the second game in which they have failed to score in the ongoing series.

Although Argentina maintained their undefeated start to their road to Qatar 2022, La Albiceleste could only manage a dismal 1-1 home draw with out-of-sorts Chile.

Seeking their 13th consecutive qualification for the final tournament, the Argentineans remained one of just three sides yet to lose a single match in this qualifying campaign.

As for Chile, a draw in Santiago del Estero leaves them at a single win from the opening five matchdays as they face the risk of missing out on World Cup qualification for the second time in a row.

A thoroughly underwhelming display from Uruguay saw them play out a goalless home draw with Paraguay, who have established themselves as ‘stalemate specialists’ during this series.

This was Paraguay’s fourth draw in the opening five qualifiers, with a narrow 1-0 away win against Venezuela being the solitary exception to this run.

On the other hand, the Uruguayans picked up just a single triumph in three World Cup qualifiers since beating Chile 2-1 at home in their curtain-raiser.

Colombia’s 3-0 home victory over whipping boys Peru ended a streak of three consecutive qualifying fixtures without a win and propelled them back in contention for a top-four finish.

The Peruvians were staring at the prospect of being cut adrift from the pack as they were at the time the only South American team without a single win.

Last but not least, Bolivia swept Venezuela aside with a comfortable 3-1 home success to record their solitary win in the ongoing World Cup qualifying campaign. 

In the meantime, La Vinotinto suffered their fourth loss in the South American group and look unlikely to claim their first-ever World Cup qualification.

Matchday 6

Brazil have hit the ground running in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualification and show no signs of stopping anytime soon, with Paraguay going down 2-0 to the continental giants at home. 

While the strikes from Neymar and Lucas Paqueta fired the Selecao to their sixth victory in as many qualifying matches, Paraguay’s unbeaten start was brought to a halt.

Colombia took advantage of the Paraguayans’ slip to climb to fifth in the standings with a keenly-contested 2-2 draw with Argentina in Barranquilla.

It has been the Argentinean’s second qualifying stalemate on the bounce, with Lionel Scaloni’s team squandering a 2-0 half-time lead to fall six points behind the CONMEBOL group leaders Brazil.

A 2-1 home defeat to basement boys Peru marked Ecuador’s second successive reverse in the World Cup qualifying series, allowing sixth-placed Paraguay and seventh-placed Chile to reduce the gap to two and three points, respectively.

Indeed, despite experiencing a disappointing qualifying campaign, the Chileans remain in contention for the top-four finish.

La Roja spurned a narrow second-half lead to share points with underdogs Bolivia on home soil, meaning they have won just once after six matchdays.

Even though they entered the game as favourites to claim all three points, Uruguay failed to get on the scoresheet in back-to-back World Cup qualifying games, being held to a scoreless draw away to Venezuela.

While the Uruguayans barely kept their place within the top four, the Venezuelans have lost more ground on the qualifying spots despite keeping their first clean sheet in the current World Cup qualification series.

Who is likely to qualify for Qatar 2022?

Following a perfect start, Brazil already look like near-certainties to qualify for the final tournament as the CONMEBOL group toppers.

The Brazilians are the only nation to have played in all World Cup finals without any absence nor need for play-offs and seem likely to maintain that record.

Despite drawing three of their last four qualifying games, Argentina are confident of going to Qatar as they remain one of just two teams to hit double digits in the South America group.

Uruguay are ninth in the FIFA Rankings and for a good reason. EdinsonCavani and Luis Suarez are desperate to call time on their illustrious international careers following a major tournament.

Therefore, Oscar Tabarez’s side will fight tooth and nail to secure a place in Qatar. Considering the quality of the roster and Uruguay’s typically combative mindset, La Celeste are among the top candidates to join Brazil and Argentina at the final tournament.

Colombia have blown hot and cold throughout this campaign, but Los Cafeteros boast a formidable roster and wealth of experience that should come into play in the decisive stage.

Ecuador went into this World Cup qualifying campaign as somewhat underdogs to reach the top four. However, a string of impressive performances could help them qualify for the final competition for the fourth time this century.