Brazil boasts an almost flawless record against Peru and will use that as a means of settling nerves in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after Sunday’s short-lived clash with Argentina was postponed.
La Bicolor hasn't won a competitive fixture in Brazil since its great team of the 1970s, but hope is burning once again as Peru eyes a place among CONMEBOL’s qualification spots.
How to Watch
Date: Thursday, Sept. 9
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Arena Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil
TV: Eliminatorias CONMEBOL 1 (SPA)
A surprise Peruvian victory could lift Ricardo Gareca’s side as high as fifth in the standings, while perfect Brazil could afford to lose two games without giving up its spot.
Sunday’s Superclásico showdown with Argentina was called off after seven minutes, when Brazilian health officials stormed the field to verify the credentials of some visiting players.
It emerged that four of Argentina’s Premier League contingent—Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, along with Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendía—had falsified paperwork in order to enter Brazil, bringing an abrupt end to the game.
A 1-0 win at home to Chile lifted the Selecao’s unblemished record to seven wins, coming thanks to a smart finish from substitute Éverton Ribeiro:
There were signs of rust for the likes of Neymar, Vinícius Júnior and Bruno Guimarães in that clash, and missing Sunday’s match could have a positive or negative impact on the squad.
Tite’s side are setting new standards in defense so far this qualifying campaign, currently in partial possession of a record they share alongside upcoming opponents Peru:
And it just so happened to be Gareca’s side responsible for the only two goals against Brazil in qualifying, having twice led before suffering a 4-2 defeat in the reverse fixture back in October 2020.
Peru finished that duel with only nine men on the field after Carlos Cáceda and Carlos Zambrano were each shown red in the closing minutes.
Brazil emerged 1-0 when it last bumped into La Bicolor at the Copa América, when Lucas Paquetá provided the winner.
Gareca guided his underdogs to a 1-0 friendly win over Brazil when the teams met in Los Angeles in 2019. It’s an eerie coincidence considering his only other win in this fixture was also in the United States, another 1-0 victory during the 2016 Copa América at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
It’s unfortunate for Peru that Brazil will hold home advantage come Thursday, as Tite looks to tighten his grip at the CONMEBOL summit on the road to Qatar.