Messi faces off with Suarez in World Cup qual­i­fiers

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS -

Lionel Messi is back for Ar­gentina. And Luis Suarez is ex­pected to re­turn for Uruguay.

The two Barcelona team­mates should be the fo­cus on Thurs­day in South Amer­ica’s most high-pro­file World Cup qual­i­fier.

With four rounds of qual­ify- ing re­main­ing, Brazil has al­ready ad­vanced to Rus­sia and leads the group with 33 points. The five­time World Cup win­ners are fol­lowed by Colom­bia (24), Uruguay (23), Chile (23), Ar­gentina (22) and Ecuador (20). Peru and Paraguay have 18 points, and little chance to ad­vance. Bo­livia and Venezuela have been elim­i­nated.

In ad­di­tion to Brazil, three more teams will claim the re­main­ing au­to­matic berths, and one more South Amer­i­can team could also reach Rus­sia in a play­off.

URUGUAY-AR­GENTINA. Mes- si is back from a one-game ban for in­sult­ing a match of­fi­cial. It was orig­i­nally four matches, but the Ar­gen­tine soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tion ap­pealed suc­cess­fully.

That’s good news for coach Jorge Sam­paoli, who will be on the bench for his first of­fi­cial game in charge. Without Messi, Ar­gentina lost to Bo­livia 2-0 in its last qual­i­fier in March.

Uruguay coach Os­car Tabarez also needs Suarez. He has a rightknee in­jury, which Tabarez said will be eval­u­ated in the run-up to the match. /

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.