Injured Forlan Left Out Of Uruguay Squad Vs Chile

Brazil's Neymar, left, fights for the ball with Alex Sandro, center, during a Brazil national soccer team training session in Teresopolis, Brazil, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Brazil will face Uruguay on a World Cup qualifying soccer match in Recife on March 25. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

Brazil will resume their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign against Uruguay on Friday as they look to stretch their unbeaten run to four consecutive matches and climb up the CONMEBOL rankings.

The Selecao currently sit third in CONMEBOL qualification, one place and two points below Friday opponents Uruguay, who face the prospect of opening up even more daylight if they can shock their hosts in Recife.

Brazil manager Dunga is still attempting to make up for the 2-0 defeat his side suffered against Chile in their qualifying opener, but spirits have improved following wins over Venezuela and Peru, not to mention a 1-1 draw in Argentina last November.

We're not even a third of the way through qualifying, but Friday's fixture could have a dramatic influence on the campaign. The vital viewing information is provided up ahead.

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 12:45 a.m. GMT (Saturday, March 26)/8:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Itaipava Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Pernambuco

TV Info: beIN Sports en Espanol (U.S.)

Live Stream: FuboTVbeIN Sports Connect (U.S.)

A Tale of Two Talismans

Suarez and Neymar won a European and domestic treble with Barcelona last season.Suarez and Neymar won a European and domestic treble with Barcelona last season.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A collision between two of South America's powerhouses will also bring two of the continent's brightest stars together, as Barcelona team-mates Neymar and Luis Suarez will duke it out at Itaipava Arena Pernambuco.

The Telegraph's Ali Tweedale recently attested to just how prolific the pair have been at the Camp Nou this term, but Friday will see all club allegiances put to one side in the name of international loyalties:

Ali Tweedale @alitweedale

Neymar, Suarez, Neymar, Messi. 92 goals this season and it's mid February. Just too good

Both players are the most prolific hitmen currently present in their respective national team squads too. While Suarez sits as Uruguay's all-time scorer with 44 goals in 82 appearances, Neymar, still just 24 years of age, is already fifth in Brazil's all-time rankings with 46 goals in 69 caps.

Suarez spoke to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo (h/t ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia) this week and revealed that he has a wager on the line with his club-mate. The prize? A modest hamburger:

I've bet a hamburger with Neymar, whoever loses has to pay, of course. Each of us will give his best for his team and the maximum for his country.

Neymar is a very good teammate, we are always joking at Barca. Above all, we are team-mates and I'm sure that whoever wins will celebrate and whoever loses will receive the support of the other.

Needless to say, dinner won't be the biggest motivator for the two forwards, however, as they head into a duel that's bound to have a telling influence on the routes of their qualification bids.

Of course, there's more to this match than two individuals, but when the talents are this sensational, it's difficult to overlook their inevitable grip on proceedings.

Selecao Stars Seeking Swift Table Turnaround

Dunga's Brazil are unbeaten in their last three games.Dunga's Brazil are unbeaten in their last three games.VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty Images

A Round 1 defeat to Chile left Brazil's 2018 World Cup qualification hopes in some shade of doubt from the first hurdle, but the Selecao have come on a lot since then and found a strain of stability.

Only the top four teams gain automatic qualification to the 2018 tournament, but Sky Sports South American correspondent Paulo Freitas recently claimed Brazil could perform badly and still make it through:

Paulo Freitas @Cynegeticus

@MineiroGiant Yes, as there is almost no risk of not qualifying even if Brazil struggles. Sackings tend to be more political nowadays.

Dunga's men have scored seven goals and conceded just twice in their three matches since then, leading them to third in the CONMEBOL standings, five points off leaders Ecuador and just two points above sixth-placed Argentina.

Freitas' assertion may therefore not be as accurate as first suggested, and anything but a home win on Friday will hurt their World Cup hopes in a major way. However, broadcaster Juan G. Arango has spoken of Uruguay's injury woes as a big burden for the visitors:

Juan G. Arango @JuanG_Arango

In total @Uruguay have 14 players injured for the upcoming WCQs vs. Brazil and Peru

If they win on Friday, Brazil face the possibility of climbing up to second in the CONMEBOL order, the ideal preparation for their March 29 trip to Paraguay, who currently sit level on points with Brazil.

The next two fixtures could come to shape Brazil's morale for the remainder of their qualifying run, and the Selecao need two wins if they're to assert themselves as South American favourites once again.

Source :

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