Premature as it may be to cast assertions in qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it’s safe to say CONMEBOL’s pecking order resembles what many might have expected approaching Matchday 4.
Tuesday’s batch of fixtures holds special significance given South America won’t stage another round of qualifiers until March 2021, with teams raring to get ahead early in the process.
Brazil—winners in qualifying for the 2018, 2010 and 2006 World Cups—have taken an outright lead at the head of the standings, with Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay occupying the other automatic qualification spots. Paraguay sits fifth in the inter-confederation play-off place after three matches, while Venezuela and Bolivia are the only teams yet to get points on the board:
Venezuela will be desperate to change that trajectory when they host Chile in their capital, Caracas, on Tuesday. Chile could move into the top five with a victory, though that would require Paraguay dropping points at home to Bolivia.
What TV Channel Are the CONMEBOL Qualifiers on?
Venezuela’s clash against Chile will kick off at 4 p.m. and is available on beIN Sports or the fubo Sports Network, which will also air Paraguay vs. Bolivia at 6 p.m. ET. You can live stream 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on fuboTV.
La Roja’s qualifying campaign has improved bit-by-bit since losing their opening match away to Uruguay, having now posted a balanced record of one win, one draw and one defeat.
An Arturo Vidal double led Chile to their first victory of the round-robin phase when they bested Peru 2-0 on Friday, the first half of which was of a particularly high standard, via Movistar (h/t ESPN FC):
Reinaldo Rueda will feel confident his men can add to their win column again in Caracas, where Venezuela’s park-the-bus tactics are yet to produce the results worthy of a qualifying team.
La Vinotinto have lost each of their first three games under manager Jose Peseiro—appointed as Rafael Dudamel’s successor in February 2020—and ESPN’s Tom Marshall identified this as a must-win already, despite their being 14 match days remaining:
Venezuela may take some consolation just from getting a goal after failing to net over the first 270 minutes of their qualifying campaign, three fewer than any other CONMEBOL contender.
How to Watch CONMEBOL Qualifiers (Matchday 4)
When: Tuesday, November 17
TV: fubo Sports Network, beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
The hosts should have a better chance at points in Asuncion, where Paraguay will welcome the other point-less team in the running, Bolivia. The home team has won the last nine times these teams have clashed in World Cup qualifying. Paraguay looks promising as one of three teams yet to taste defeat in qualifying (leaders Brazil and second-place Argentina being the other two).
BeIN Sports reporter Roberto Rojas sung high praises of La Albirroja following a 1-1 draw with Lionel Messi’s Argentina on Matchday 3:
Unlike Venezuela, bottom-of-the-table Bolivia have managed to score during this campaign—three times, in fact—but an average of 3.33 goals conceded per game thus far doesn’t bode well for their chances.
La Verde suffered a joint-worst number of defeats during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup (12), but a fourth loss in as many outings this year has Bolivia on track to set a new low this cycle.