Brazil and Venezuela will square off on Tuesday in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Match Day 2 has five exciting and crucial Latin American games to watch, but this one could very well be the biggest. Brazil and Venezuela each participated in the 2015 Copa America this past summer, and both of these teams lost their opening game of this tournament. The top four teams from this competition will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

There's no doubt about it, this is a huge game.

Brazil (7)

Brazil may very well be the No. 7 ranked team in the entire world, but they are not at full strength by any means. Neymar will not be playing because of the suspension handed down by FIFA at the Copa America. This is the final game of Neymar's four game suspension. Not only is Neymar out, but David Luiz will not be playing either. Luiz has a knee injury, and his return is uncertain.

With Neymar out and Brazil's offense struggling, Hulk will be the go to guy on offense. The young 29-year-old forward has had himself a fine year offensively. Hulk scored in each of Brazil's last two international friendlies, against the United States and Costa Rica, but couldn't find the net against Chile in the opening day qualifying game last week. Brazil lost that game to Chile, 2-0.

Jefferson de Oliveira Galvão will be starting in goal once again for Brazil over Diegoi Alves. Jefferson did allow two goals last week against Chile, but he will need some goal support in this game to get the three points. Daniel Alves and temporary team captain Miranda lead a good defensive unit while Kaka commands the middle fielders.

Brazil's next game will be against Argentina on Nov. 13.

Venezuela (69)

Just like Brazil, Venezuela finds themselves 0-1 looking up at Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia and Paraguay in the standings. Historically, Venezuela has been absolutely terrible against Brazil with just two wins and 10 losses all-time. Venezuela has defeated Brazil only once since 1960. Brazil also defeated Venezuela at the 2015 Copa America, 2-1. Because of injuries and suspensions to the Brazilian squad, this could be Venezuela's best chance at finally beating Brazil.

Venezuela lost their opening game to Paraguay, 1-0. Derlis González scored a late goal in the 85th minute to seal the deal. Venezuelan soccer fans have waited and waited while watching neighboring countries in South America play in the biggest soccer tournament in the world. Venezuela has never participated in a FIFA World Cup before. They are the CONMEBOL team that has yet to qualify.

Alain Baroja will be starting in goal for Paraguay. Outside of Salomón Rondón, who scored the game-winner against Colombia at the Copa America, Venezuela doesn't pose much of a threat on offense. Venezuela hasn't scored more than one goal in their last eight consecutive games. They do, however, have a good defense. Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Gabriel Cichero create a great defensive unit, and team captain Tomás Rincón can certainly hold his own at center.

Venezuela's next game will be against Bolivia on Nov. 12.


Brazil and Venezuela will play each other on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. EDT. The game will be played at the Estádio Castelão Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. You can watch a live game stream here.


Brazil didn't look very impressive against Chile and they're hurting, but they have to get three points in this one, especially with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez returning soon for Argentina and Uruguay. Even though Neymar will be out, Brazil will benefit from home-field advantage and they should be able to shut out Venezuela in a low scoring affair.

Brazil wins 1-0

 Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1