All you need to know ahead of the midweek Conmebol qualifier
Two of the top three in the South American World Cup qualifiers meet on Thursday night, as Brazil head to Ecuador in the 15th round of games.
The Selecao are well clear at the top of the group having already assured themselves of a place at the Qatar 2022 finals, winning 11 and conceding just four goals so far.
While Ecuador have home advantage, the game will be played behind closed doors due to a local rise in Covid cases.
La Tri’s own place at the finals is not quite yet guaranteed, but they are well-placed to do so soon, sitting third in Conmebol qualifying and having a six-point buffer down to Peru, sitting fifth and in the play-off spot.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.
When is the match?
The qualifier kicks off at 9pm GMT on Thursday, 27 January 2022 at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado, in Quito.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on Premier Sports 1. Subscribers can stream the match via the Premier Player desktop website and app.
Ecuador are without veteran midfielder Christian Noboa, while two home-based defenders initially called up – Byron Castillo and Fernando Leon – have both since withdrawn from the squad. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo is in the squad, as is all-time top goalscorer Enner Valencia, now of Fenerbahce.
Brazil have not called up Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Everton’s Richarlison or Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz. Neymar, Renan Lodi and Danilo are other squad regulars who are not involved. Uncapped Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes is in the squad, as is new Aston Villa recruit Philippe Coutinho. Vinicius Jr, Raphinha and Matheus Cunha are the in-form forwards hoping to be handed starts in the absence of Neymar and Firmino.
ECU – Dominguez, Preciado, F Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan, Franco, Gruezo, M Caicedo, Mena, Estrada, Valencia
BRZ – Alisson, Alves, Marquinhos, T Silva, Alex Telles, Casemiro, Paqueta, Fred, Antony, Vinicius Jr, Barbosa
Ecuador vs Brazil, Thursday 9pm
Paraguay vs Uruguay, Thursday 11pm
Chile vs Argentina, Friday 12:15am
Colombia vs Peru, Friday 9pm
Venezuela vs Bolivia, Friday 10pm
All times GMT
Brazil to continue their unbeaten run through qualifying, but Ecuador to have enough on home soil to at least claim a positive result and boost their own chances of making Qatar 2022. Ecuador 1-1 Brazil.