CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying preview: Alexis’ health in question vs. Uruguay

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It’s Match Day 4 of 18 in CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and there remain surprising sides near both ends of the table.

Lionel Messi-less Argentina’s tough schedule to start qualifying has La Albiceleste with just one point through three matches, and that brutal slate continues with a visit to Colombia on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Three keys to the USMNT’s trip to Trinidad & Tobago ]

Meanwhile, perfect Ecuador is off to winless Venezuela in a quest to remain atop the table. Head coach Gustavo Quinteros has watched over wins against Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay.

Brazil and Paraguay will be expected to take care of business on home soil, which means Tuesday’s match between Uruguay and Chile could see a loser outside of the Top Four.

And Chile could be without Alexis Sanchez, as the Arsenal star picked up a knock. Whether he starts against Uruguay certainly holds an indication for the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

Tuesday’s games

Colombia vs. Argentina

Venezuela vs. Ecuador

Paraguay vs. Bolivia

Uruguay vs. Chile

Brazil vs. Peru

Thursday & Friday’s results

Bolivia 4-2 Venezuela

Ecuador 2-1 Uruguay

Chile 1-1 Colombia

Argentina 1-1 Brazil

Peru 1-0 Paraguay