CONMEBOL WCQ preview: Argentina in need of points; Suarez returns

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The second round of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers kicks off this week with some marquee matchups between South America’s top sides.

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Argentina is in need of a result against reigning Copa champions Chile, while Luis Suarez gets set to make his first appearance for Uruguay since his infamous bite against Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup.

Chile vs. Argentina

Argentina took just one win from their first four matches, currently sitting outside the qualification zone. However, that poor run came without Lionel Messi, who was out with a knee injury. With Messi back in the squad this time around, Argentina will look to get things back on track. However, that won’t come easy in their first match against Chile, the defending Copa America champions. The match marks a new era for Chile, their first under Juan Antonio Pizzi, who took over after Jorge Sampaoli’s resignation in January.

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Brazil vs. Uruguay

Luis Suarez’s last appearance for his national team came on June 24, 2014, a 1-0 loss to Italy that knocked Uruguay out of the World Cup. That was the match in which Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini, which led to a nine-game ban from international play for the Barcelona striker. With that suspension now served, Suarez returns for a huge clash against his Barca teammate Neymar and Brazil. A win for Brazil would see the Selecao jump Uruguay on the table, although both sides are favorites to qualify.

Below is the complete schedule for both upcoming matchdays in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Thursday, March 24
Bolivia vs. Colombia
Ecuador vs. Paraguay
Chile vs. Argentina
Peru vs. Venezuela

Friday, March 25
Brazil vs. Uruguay

Tuesday, March 29
Colombia vs. Ecuador
Venezuela vs. Chile
Argentina vs. Bolivia
Paraguay vs. Brazil

Wednesday, March 30
Uruguay vs. Peru