Brazil and Argentina meet in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday with both teams coming off of defeats in their most recent FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifying outings. The hosts lost to Colombia last time out while the current world champions went down at home to Uruguay. The Brazilians have won two, drawn one and lost two already in this qualifying section so interim boss Fernando Diniz’s side must be careful of their top six position after dropping points to Venezuela, Uruguay and now Colombia. Lionel Scaloni’s Albiceleste lead the qualifying section, though, despite being beaten by Marcelo Bielsa’s Celeste last time out — their first defeat since Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Argentina are on a good run of two wins and one draw from their last three meetings with Brazil with a 1-0 Copa America success in 2021 the highlight.
“I knew my time would come, little by little,” said Real Madrid’s Rodrygo of the task facing Brazil without many star names. “With Neymar and Vini Jr. out, people expect more from me, and I need to deliver. Brazil vs Argentina is special. I am young, but I have some experience. This will be a top three in my most important matches.”
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Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Tuesday, Nov. 21 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Nilton Santos — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- TV: Telemundo | Live stream: Fubo (try for free)
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- Odds: Brazil +140; Draw: +200; Argentina +190
Brazil: Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior is out with a hamstring injury so Brighton and Hove Albion’s Joao Pedro could start although Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli could also go more central. Real Madrid-bound Endrick should feature while the Gunners’ Gabriel Jesus might only be fit enough for a substitute role. Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz could be in-line for a midfield start alongside Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes. Brazil have absentees elsewhere with Ederson, Danilo, Eder Militao, Casemiro, Neymar and Richarlison all unavailable.
“My concern is with Gabriel,” said Diniz ahead of the Argentina clash. “We brought him here for some reasons and that it was important to him. He was one of the players, who even when we played a match below our standards against Uruguay, managed to make a positive impact in the game. It was a very difficult game but he got there and played well. He helped us sustain our position and create difficulty, sometimes even individually. As soon as he arrived, he had a new MRI. We are treating him very carefully. If he does not have a condition, he will be available against Argentina. For Gabriel, it was very important for him to come here and he will return to Arsenal even better than when he got here.”
Potential Brazil XI: Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos, Magalhaes, Lodi; Guimaraes, Andre, Luiz; Rodrygo, Martinelli, Raphinha.
Argentina: Scaloni could bring Inter’s Lautaro Martinez in which would push Nicolas Gonzalez to the bench and require Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez to go wide. Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo De Paul should start again while Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho and fellow Red Devil Lisandro Martinez (injured) are both missing from the squad.
Potential Argentina XI: E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Mac Allister, Fernandez; Messi, L Martinez, Alvarez.
This is a game that Brazil cannot afford to lose and Argentina will know that. Expect it to be tight and keenly contested with a score draw not an unlikely scenario given what is at stake for the struggling hosts. Pick: Brazil 1, Argentina 1.