As the 2022 FIFA World Cup inches ever so closer, qualifying matches are being played all over the world as teams vie to make the next iteration of the Finals. CONMEBOL is in action this week which kicks off with two games on Thursday, November 12th.
Bolivia v. Ecuador
Thursday, November 12th, 3:00PM ET
Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz
Stream live on Fanatiz
Bolivia will welcome Ecuador as they search for their first points of the qualifying stage. Bolivia currently sits dead last after losing both of their opening games, with a 5-0 blowout against Brazil followed up by a 2-1 defeat to Argentina. Of course, both of those teams are CONMEBOL giants and were expected to roll over the Bolivians easily. Ecuador, sitting in 5th place, will be another tough test for Bolivia as they hope to stun Gustavo Alfaro’s side, but Ecuador are the heavy favorites here. The Ecuadorians opened their qualifying campaign with a narrow loss to Argentina thanks to a penalty from Lionel Messi, then followed up with a big 4-2 victory in their next match over Uruguay. Even those two goals from the Uruguayans came in the form of two penalty kick goals from superstar Luis Suarez.
The CONMEBOL qualifying stage is still very early on, with this being Match Day 3 out of 18, but Ecuador will be looking to make their mark and qualify for the Finals this time around as they missed out in 2018. Things look good for them as they head to La Paz, though, as Bolivia have only won two games in the last three years, both in friendly competitions. Their last competitive win came in the 2018 qualifiers when they downed Chile 1-0.
Argentina v. Paraguay
Thursday, November 12th, 7:00PM ET
Estadio Alberto J. Armando, Buenos Aires
Stream live on Fanatiz
2nd-place Argentina will welcome 4th-place Paraguay to La Bombonera on Thursday as Lionel Messi and company look to jump ahead of Brazil and to the top of the group. Argentina is off to a decent start with back-to-back wins — a 1-0 win over Ecuador and a 2-1 victory over Bolivia, which was mentioned in the other match preview above. Paraguay kicked off their qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Peru and followed it up with a 1-0 win over Venezuela, putting them in 4th place with 4 points total. An upset win over Argentina would temporarily move them to first place, pending results of Brazil v Venezuela.
The Paraguayans will be looking for their first FIFA World Cup Finals appearance since 2010, when they were eliminated in the quarter finals with a 1-0 defeat by Spain. They’ve failed to qualify for the two World Cups since then, and will hope to make a return in 2022 in Qatar. They’ll have a steep mountain to climb with titans like Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay to outperform, but if they can stay in decent form going ahead, they will certainly have a chance when all is said and done.