Brazil will be desperate to return to winning ways when they take on Colombia at Estadio Metropolitano in Barranquilla.

The FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers are underway almost everywhere except Europe. South America has seen four rounds of fixtures, with Argentina being the runaway leader ahead of fellow traditional powerhouse Brazil, who will look to return to winning ways when they lock horns with Colombia at Estadio Metropolitano this week.

Colombia’s fortunes on the international stage have nosedived after former pivotal figures like Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez went past their peaks. The new generation has yet to make a splash, with Los Cafeteros winning only one of four games thus far in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers. That said, they are still unbeaten in their campaign but have been draw specialists.

That cannot be said for Brazil, with the Selecao failing to win the last two games after kick-starting the qualification campaign with back-to-back wins. The most recent result was a 2-0 defeat to Uruguay, with Fernando Diniz’s men producing a listless performance. And amid uncertainties surrounding the managerial situation, the South American giants are playing well within themselves.

The most recent clash featuring Colombia and Brazil was a qualifying fixture for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with the Selecao clinching a narrow 1-0 win. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Nestor Lorenzo has made significant changes to the squad he had picked in the October international break. In addition, a few players have withdrawn their names from the group due to their fitness issues.

Santiago Arias (knee) and Mateo Cassierra (unspecified) have pulled out from the squad. In addition, Jose Luis Chunga, Frank Fabra, Juan David Mosquera, Wilmar Barrios, and Jhon Duran are some who have not made the cut this month.

With captain David Ospina on the sidelines due to a long-term injury, Alvaro Montero will deputise for the veteran goalkeeper between the sticks. Colombia will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of the 28-year-old, with the team revolving around James Rodriguez.

While Rodriguez’s performance levels have plummeted, he remains a pivotal figure for Colombia. The 32-year-old will look to pull the strings in the final third, looking to release Rafael Santos Borre. Jhon Arias and Luis Diaz will be the two wide attackers for the home side.

Mateus Uribe and Jefferson Lerma will hold the fort in the middle of the park, looking to keep things tight and frustrate the away side. The duo will protect the defensive unit, with Carlos Cuesta, Davinson Sanchez, Yerson Mosquera, and Deiver Machado completing the quartet at the back.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Montero; Mosquera, Cuesta, Sanchez, Machado; Uribe, Lerma; Jhon Arias, Rodriguez, Diaz; Borre


Like his counterpart in the Colombian dugout, Fernando Diniz has lost a player due to a fitness issue. In addition, Brazil’s caretaker boss has made considerable changes to the squad he picked last month.

Ederson Moraes has pulled out of the group due to the foot injury he sustained against Chelsea this past weekend. In addition, Diniz has omitted players like Guilherme Arana, Danilo, and Matheus Cunha have missed the cut. Meanwhile, Casemiro (hamstring), Neymar (knee), and Richarlison (groin) were not available due to their respective fitness issues.

Ederson’s absence is not a big deal for Barcelona, with Alisson Becker being the first-choice goalkeeper for Brazil. The 31-year-old will take his spot between the sticks against Colombia, with the Selecao lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. The defensive unit should feature Marquinhos, Gabriel Magalhaes, Carlos Augusto, and Emerson Royal, with Marquinhos donning the armband.

Up ahead in the midfield, the in-demand Andre will sit at the base, looking to play the anchor role in the middle of the park. Andre’s presence will allow Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton to express themselves. Finally, Joao Pedro will make his debut for Brazil by leading the line against Colombia, with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes being the two wide attackers.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Augusto; Guimaraes, Andre, Joelinton; Rodrygo, Pedro, Vinicius Jr.

Key Stats

  • Colombia have won just three games in 35 meetings with Brazil, losing a whopping 21 matches (D11).
  • Brazil are on a seven-match unbeaten run against Colombia, winning four outings and drawing three.
  • Colombia are unbeaten in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers but have managed only one win thus far (D3).
  • Colombia have won eight of their last nine home games in World Cup Qualifiers, dating back to the campaign for the 2022 edition.
  • Brazil have failed to win their last three trips to Colombia, all of them being draws. Meanwhile, the Selecao have scored just two goals across their last three games.

Player to Watch

Vinicius Junior

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Vinicius Junior will look to become a talismanic figure for Brazil in the absence of Neymar in the coming international breaks. The experienced attacker will miss most of the upcoming 12 months after sustaining a long-term knee injury.

So, the onus is on Vinicius Junior to embrace more responsibility and show he can lead Brazil into the next generation of world-beating pedigree. The 23-year-old has been a pivotal figure for Real Madrid in the last few seasons. And if he brings that form to the international stage, the Selecao will be in good stead.


Colombia 0-1 Brazil

Colombia’s home form has been impressive for a long time. In addition, the Cafeteros have been solid in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, conceding only twice thus far. So, with Brazil struggling to make a mark in the early stages of the qualification campaign, the game might not see a lot of goalmouth action.

The match will become a tactical battle as the minutes wear on. So, individual brilliance will make the difference in the game’s final stages, bringing players like Luis Diaz and Vinicius Junior into the equation. And the Real Madrid attacker will leave his mark on the game, scoring the only goal to deliver a narrow 1-0 victory.

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