We look ahead to the CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup qualifier at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro with our Brazil vs Argentina prediction and preview.
Brazil vs Argentina Stats: Quick Hits
- Brazil are predicted to defeat Argentina in this match, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 37.1% chance of winning.
- Brazil have never lost a World Cup qualifier in their home nation against Argentina (W3 D1).
- Argentina have the best defensive record in the South American World Cup qualifiers, with just two goals conceded, four clean sheets and 25 shots faced worth 1.67 expected goals.
Argentina top the CONMEBOL qualification standings for the 2026 FIFA World Cup as we enter Matchday 6, having won four of their five qualifiers so far. That record was perfect before last week’s defeat to Uruguay, however.
Lionel Scaloni’s side lost 2-0 in Buenos Aires after goals from Ronald Araújo and Darwin Núñez for Marcelo Bielsa’s side – the first conceded by Argentina after four clean sheets versus Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru.
Despite that defeat, La Albiceleste are well placed to qualify for the 2026 finals in order to defend their 2022 crown. The same can’t be said for Brazil, who could drop further down the qualification table with a defeat in front of their own fans in this match.
They are currently in fifth place with seven points from five games, with only the top six nations guaranteed a spot in the tournament and the seventh-place team having to endure an inter-confederation playoff tie.
Despite leading in Colombia on the last matchday thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s first international goal, Brazil went on to lose 2-1 after a late Luis Díaz double – goals that sent Colombia above the Brazilians in the standings. To make matters worse, Brazil lost Vinícius Júnior to a hamstring injury and he’ll be missing for this crucial clash.
This game will see the two South American sides that are most comfortable in possession meet, with Argentina (67.2%) and Brazil (66.4%) the only two CONMEBOL teams to average at least 60% of possession in the qualifiers so far, while they have both averaged over 500 successful passes per game in qualification (Argentina: 556, Brazil: 524). Only one other team in the group have averaged over 350 per game so far – Chile with 424 per match across their five qualifiers.
The injury to Vinícius Júnior, as well as the long-term absence of Neymar, means the onus on scoring will probably fall to Martinelli and Real Madrid’s Rodrygo, while Brighton’s João Pedro could make his first start after coming on for his full international debut in the defeat to Colombia. Wonderkid Endrick also made his full national team debut in that loss, while Barcelona’s Raphinha is another attacking option for Fernando Diniz.
Should Argentina keep a clean sheet in this match, it would be the first time that they have ever shut out opponents in three away games in a row across World Cup qualification. If they restrict their opponents as well as they have across their opening five qualifiers, they’ll have a chance of creating history. The current world champions have allowed just 25 shots worth 1.67 expected goals, which is lower than any other South American nation in qualification for the 2026 finals so far.
Brazil vs Argentina Head-to-Head
Brazil have never lost a World Cup qualifier against Argentina inside Brazil, winning three and drawing one of their four previous meetings in the competition. They haven’t conceded a goal in a home qualifier versus Argentina since June 2004, courtesy of Juan Pablo Sorín’s consolation in a 3-1 victory.
The last meeting between these two sides saw Argentina qualify for the 2022 World Cup with a 0-0 draw at home to Brazil in November 2021. This came just months after Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 Copa America final thanks to a goal from Angel Di Maria.
The Seleção’s last win over Argentina came in the Copa America 2019 semi-final. Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino knocked the Argentines out before Brazil went on to win the competition with a final victory over Peru.
Lionel Messi will be on the hunt for more international goals to add to his 106 already scored across 179 caps. He’s previously scored five goals versus Brazil in international matches, including a memorable hat-trick in a 4-3 win over their rivals back in June 2012. He’s never scored a competitive goal against Brazil, however.
Brazil vs Argentina Prediction
Home advantage is key here, with Brazil never losing a World Cup qualifier inside their own country against Argentina. The Opta supercomputer predicts more success for Brazil in this qualifier is likely, with them the favourites for the win at 37.1%.
A draw would be seen as a positive result for Argentina (31.5%), but with so many injury issues for the Brazilians, they might feel that this is their best chance of picking up that historic win in Brazil for the first time. The Opta supercomputer saw Argentina win this match in 31.5% of simulations ahead of kick-off.
Brazil vs Argentina Squads
Both nations announced the following squads for this round of World Cup qualifiers in South America:
Brazil: Alisson, Lucas Perri, Bento, Emerson Royal, Marquinhos, Gabriel Magalhães, Renan Lodi, Nino, Bremer, Carlos Augusto, André, Bruno Guimarães, Douglas Luiz, Joelinton, Raphael Veiga, Vinícius Júnior, João Pedro, Rodrygo, Raphinha, Pepê, Paulinho, Endrick, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus.
Argentina: Franco Armani, Walter Benítez, Emiliano Martínez, Juan Musso, Nahuel Molina, Nicolás Tagliafico, Gonzalo Montiel, Germán Pezzella, Marcos Acuña, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Pablo Maffeo, Francisco Ortega, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Giovani Lo Celso, Exequiel Palacios, Enzo Fernández, Guido Rodríguez, Alexis Mac Allister, Julián Álvarez, Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María, Nicolás González, Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez, Lucas Ocampos.