Focus on Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior, Argentina’s Dybala

SAO PAULO (AP) – With World Cup spots secured, Brazil and Argentina look set to test their qualifying players to see who…

SAO PAULO (AP) – With World Cup spots secured, Brazil and Argentina look set to test qualifying players who are beloved by fans while trying to prove themselves with national teams.

Vinícius Júnior has failed to score in his first nine appearances for Brazil and Paulo Dybala has two in 31 games for Argentina. Vinícius Júnior is expected to replace Neymar for Selecao against Ecuador and Dybala is likely to come on for Lionel Messi against Chile.

Four South American nations qualified for this fall’s tournament in Qatar and fifth place advanced to a play-off against an Asian opponent, leaving two automatic berths still in dispute. Only last place is Venezuela, with seven points, which is unrivalled.

Brazil leads with 35 points, followed by Argentina (29), Ecuador (23), Colombia, Peru (17), Chile, Uruguay (16) and Bolivia (15). The contenders all have four games left.

Brazil leads with 35 points, followed by Argentina (29), Ecuador (23), Colombia, Peru (17), Chile, Uruguay (16) and Bolivia (15). The contenders all have four games left.

ECUADOR vs BRAZIL

Vinicius Junior’s top form at Real Madrid has drawn criticism from Brazil coach Tite for not giving the 21-year-old enough time to show off his dribbling and passing skills. Some argue that coaches have difficulty innovating and testing rising players in new roles.

Tite maintaining a winger requires patience. Based on Tuesday’s training session, it is likely that Vinicius Junior will be in the starting lineup.

Midfielder Casemiro, who plays with Vinicius at Madrid, agrees with his national team boss about not being in a hurry to buy the youngster.

“He is so special, I see him every day. I have seen him develop at the club,” said Casemiro. “With the national team there is a different style of play, a different period to adapt. The competition is different. The faster he adapts, the better. But we can’t forget he’s only 21 years old.”

Ecuador, under the guidance of Argentina coach Gustavo Alfaro, will take four points from the remaining games.

CHILE vs. ARGENTINA

Under coach Lionel Scaloni, Argentina won the Copa America last year.

After good form at Juventus, 28-year-old Dybala is expected to replace Messi in the match at nearly 7,900 feet (2,400 meters) in Calama, in the Atacama desert north of Chile.

Dybala also started for Argentina in the 1-0 win over Uruguay in November, when Messi was recovering from a knee injury and came on in the second half.

Despite Argentina’s early entry to the World Cup, goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez said he and his teammates are “still hungry” and “uncomfortable”.

“We want to continue to unite as a team and as a group. We have to do our best to be on the final list,” he said. “We will try to win every game or play them as if they were our last. Everyone has to see the best version of us this World Cup year and we want to achieve that goal.”

Messi will miss these matches while regaining his fitness after testing positive for COVID-19 last month.

“We don’t have (Arturo) Vidal and we have to win. If our opponents don’t have Messi, we also have to beat them,” Chile coach Martín Lasarte said on Tuesday.

No 7 Uruguay will need a win over ninth-placed Paraguay on Thursday to climb back into qualifying and get off to a strong start under coach Diego Alonso, who took over after Óscar Tabárez’s sacking. .

The 4th place team is Colombia will take on the 5th team is Peru, and Bolivia will play on the field of Venezuela.

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https://wtop.com/sports/2022/01/focus-on-brazils-vinicius-junior-argentinas-dybala/ Focus on Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior, Argentina’s Dybala

James Brien

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