Brazil have had plenty of issues to deal with in the aftermath of their Copa America-winning campaign, from a Neymar-less starting XI to problems off the field with their national president Jair Bolsonaro.
But a bigger problem is visible on the horizon in the form of a Lionel Messi-led Argentina that the Selecao face this Friday.
Yes, the two teams are playing at a neutral location. Yet it’s a politically-charged one – King Saud University Stadium – with the La Albicelestes arriving in winning form.
The kind of form that our Brazil vs Argentina predictions wager will be an issue for Tite’s back four, currently in defensive disarray.
So, take a read of our projections below…
Brazil vs Argentina Predictions
Brazil’s current form is a far cry from the kind of performances we saw during their Copa America stint not too long ago.
And the early signs in the latter stages of this calendar year suggest that they could be in for more disappointment this Friday.
You only had to watch their lackadaisical display against Nigeria a few weeks ago to understand where our projections derive from.
Indeed, from the onset, the Selecao looked to be on the back foot. And the Africans pushed them well into their own half before breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute when Joe Aribo rifled a low shot past Ederson to grab his second goal in two games.
From their on, Nigeria were threatening to add to their tally ever single time they counterattacked. If it wasn’t for Casemiro’s equaliser that brought back some stability and attacking closure for the Selecao, Tite and his men would’ve been facing another defeat.
Instead, the result was a draw – a far cry better than the defeats they’ve notched up against the likes of Peru and Senegal.
A more potent side would have snatched all three points away from the hosts that day. Unfortunately, this Friday they face a team primed to do exactly that: Argentina.
Fresh off the back of a comprehensive 6-1 friendly win over Ecuador, the La Albicelestes are in red-hot form, and our Brazil vs Argentina predictions are betting on a continuation of that when the two sides meet at the King Saud.
The 6-0 drubbing in question took place without Lionel Messi – a man facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after incriminating comments regarding this week’s opponents and Bolsonaro’s role in their auspicious Copa America semifinal win.
Even so, Marcos Acuna took the Barcelona forwards place on the left flank and produced a performance akin to that of the little magician himself.
Between Acuna, Lautaro Martinez and Leandro Parades, the Ecuadorian defence just could not subdue Argentina’s attacking prowess, be it from corners, free-kicks or open-play, Lionel Scaloni’s men were quickly racking up the goals.
Sure, Ecuador’s lack of goalscoring attributions didn’t help, and Brazil are normally able to take things into fifth gear at will.
Yet, they face a side unbeaten in their last five games since losing that infamous semifinal. And if Messi has his say in anything, his team won’t be leaving Saudi Arabia without three points.
Brazil vs Argentina Head To Head
True, Brazil have only lost once in the last five ties against Scaloni’s men, the most recent being the controversial Copa America semifinal clash that earned Messi his three-match ban.
But it in the following months, not all has been well in paradise – a prognosis that fuels our Brazil vs Argentina predictions.
From a draw against Nigeria to tricky results against the likes of Peru and Colombia, the Selecao have hardly breezed their way to victory in the last few games.
And in line with our Brazil vs Argentina predictions, this fiery encounter won’t be as promising for Tite’s men as previous games have proved to be.
Brazil Team News
On the injury forefront, things are not going well for Tite at the moment.
Amidst the ongoing Neymar issues, both medically considering the attacker has been nursing a tight thigh and from a feudal perspective, there have been injuries across the offensive forefront.
What that has allowed is for other players, like Roberto Firmino and Phillipe Coutinho to come into play while the Paris Saint-Germaine star and a few others watch on from the sidelines.
And joining the Liverpool forward and his former teammate is one of the Premier League’s upcoming players: Gabriel Martinelli.
The Gunner’s man has been in scintillating form for his club and is attracting quite the attention from European clubs.
And yet even his inclusion may not same the Selecao from their fate of another defeat.
Argentina Team News
Despite operating as betting favourites, Scaloni does have a few noticeable ommissions to address ahead of Friday’s clash.
Spearheading the list of absentees are Roberto Pereyra and Marcos Rojo, who will both miss the trips to Saudi Arabia through injury.
Indeed, while Pereyra suffered a hamstring injury in Watford’s first Premier League win of the season on Friday against fellow relegation-contenders Norwich City, Rojo has been nursing a weak ankle in the last few weeks.
Interestingly, Scaloni has only called up Alexis Mac Allister to cover for the duo’s spell on the sidelines, despite possessing the needs to provide understudies for both.
What’s even more intriguing is Scaloni’s refusal to include Lisandro Martinez as a replacement for Rojo.
The wonderkid can play centre-back, left-back or in defensive midfield, and our predictions wager he’d be a real handful for Brazil’s back four to contain.
The only other thrilling news is the return of Messi – nothing special, right?
Brazil vs Argentina Betting Tips
Even the betting tipsters are wagering in favour of a win on the road for the Argentines, with the odds about a victory for Scaloni and co weighing in at 39/20.
Meanwhile, Brazil are operating as a Neymar-less 27/20 pick in our Brazil vs Argentina match bets with the chances of a potential point registering as an unappealing 43/20 tip.
All in all, the odds are very much against the Brazilians, and very much in line with our Brazil vs Argentina predictions.