Brazil vs. Chile Predictions: Neymar to pick up a card at the Maracana
Brazil vs Chile Odds
Brazil face Chile in World Cup qualifying on Thursday evening and our man @AnthonyEadson has previewed the game that will take place at the Maracana, kicking off at 23:30 GMT.
Tite’s Brazil side have already qualified for December’s tournament in Qatar, and currently find themselves on a run of 32 games unbeaten in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. The Selecao have been dominant during this qualification campaign, winning 12 and drawing three of their 15 matches, and they are still the only team in world football to have qualified for every World Cup since the first tournament back in 1930.
Brazil’s main rivals, Argentina, are currently four points behind them in the qualification standings and the main objective for Neymar and Co, will now be to ensure finishing top. With their two remaining fixtures against Chile, and Bolivia, this looks very doable for the five-time World Champions.
Chile on the other hand, are currently three points outside the top-four automatic qualification places. La Roja had a difficult start to their qualifying campaign, winning just one of their opening ten matches. They face Brazil and Uruguay in their final two matches and will be desperate to qualify after missing out in 2018.
Ben Brereton Diaz will miss this game through injury despite flying out to meet up with the Chile squad. Arturo Vidal returns from suspension, while Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has been forced to withdraw due to illness. Neymar looks set to return to the starting line-up after missing the last three qualifiers.
Brazil vs Chile Tips
The last time Brazil were beaten in a World Cup qualifier was by Chile back in 2015. I was in the Chilean city of Valparaiso that night and it’s fair to say that the celebrations were pretty wild!
However, I can’t see the same happening again tonight and have opted to take Brazil to win the match with under four goals, as my main selection this evening.
The pressure is on here for Chile and it’s hard to see them taking anything against a Brazil side that are the current 11/2 favourites to lift the World Cup, seven days before Christmas. Brazil have won their last six matches on home soil and have only conceded one goal in that period!
With Neymar returning to the starting XI this evening they will not be short of firepower and will want to put on a good showing for their fans! Prior to their 3-2 victory over Bolivia, Chile had lost their last two matches, both at home, against Argentina and Ecuador, two sides above them in qualifying. I can’t see them coming away with three points at the Maracana and with under 3.5 goals landing in 11 of the home sides last 14 matches. I'm happy to include that here.
South American grudge matches are known for producing a high volume of cards and it’s no surprise to see a few bookmakers taking an incredibly cautious approach to these markets, with bet365 not even offering lines for each team to pick up an amount of cards.
I’ve had a small poke on both Arturo Vidal and Neymar being carded in this match, which is available at 15/2 with Paddy Power, compared to a rather skinny-looking 21/10 on bet365. I feel the pressure may be a bit too much here for Chile with them needing a result to keep their hopes of progression alive.
Arturo Vidal is one of the usual suspects when it comes to card collecting and he was shown a yellow the last time that these two teams met, in the Copa America last Summer. Vidal hasn’t been a regular starter for Inter this season but has come off the bench and collected cautions against Juventus, Napoli and Lazio in Serie A.
The now 34-year-old was also booked against Liverpool in the Champions League last time out and with him returning from suspension and a proven tendency to pick up a card in ‘big’ matches, I’m happy to include him as one half of this double. One other good omen here is that the last time tonight’s referee, Dario Herrera, took control of a Chile game, he booked Vidal, back in 2020.
The other player I’m fancying to find their way into Herrera’s notebook is Neymar. As mentioned above Neymar has missed his side’s last three matches and should return as part of a front-three with Richarlison and Vinicius Junior.
The PSG star has been shown four yellow cards in just 15 Ligue 1 starts this season for the Parisiens. However, looking back at recent meetings between Brazil and Chile, he has actually been cautioned in two of the last three.
15/2 may not seem like the most glamorous of prices on two players being carded but with plenty on the line for the visitors and Neymar’s recent record against tonight’s opponent, I’ll be having a small play on the double with Paddy Power. Best of luck to anyone following tonight’s picks.
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