Brazil vs Argentina Prediction: Messi returns to Maracana as a king

 | November 21 | 

3 mins read

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One of the most hotly-anticipated games in world football takes place in the early hours of Wednesday morning as Brazil host Argentina (kick-off 00:30). Below we’ve taken a look at this gargantuan fixture and come up with a couple of betting selections. 

Brazil vs Argentina Tips

  • Argentina to win @ 15/8
  • Lionel Messi to score anytime @ 2/1

Team News

Brazil are without talisman Neymar, as he is absent with a long-term issue. They fell to a 2-1 defeat to Colombia and attempted to play Vinicus Jr, Rodrygo, Raphinha and Gabriel Martinelli at the same time. It didn’t work, and interim manager Fernando Diniz is desperate to come up with a solution to his sides’ poor form.

Argentina were surprisingly beaten by Uruguay at home last time out, their first defeat since winning the World Cup. Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernandez started as a midfield three but failed to impress, so we may see some changes from Lionel Scalone in that area. 

Match Odds

Brazil, at home, are the 7/5 favourites to win this game, while Argentina are 15/8 to take the win. A draw can be backed at 15/8, while BTTS is EVS and over 2.5 goals is 6/4

Argentina to win @ 15/8

Both of these nations come into this game on the back of defeats, but they do so in very different moods. Argentina saw their perfect 2023 come to an end at the hands of a talented Uruguay outfit, while Brazil were beaten late on by Colombia and are now without a win in their last three outings. 

It’s a run that has dropped them down to 5th in the qualification table and their place at the World Cup in 2026 is far from guaranteed. Manager Fernando Diniz is struggling to find the solutions and the atmosphere around the national team is nothing short of dire at this moment of time. The last thing they need is the world champions coming to town. 

Argentina were beaten by Uruguay but have proved on several occasions over the past 18 months that they are one of the finest international teams on the planet. The same cannot be said for Brazil at this moment in time and I’m expecting Argentina to heap the misery on to a beleaguered Brazil. 

Lionel Messi to score anytime @ 2/1

This feels a bit like destiny. In 2014, the Maracana hosted Lionel Messi’s most desolate moment. Argentina had lost the World Cup final to Germany and the greatest player of all time looked to have missed his one opportunity to win the biggest competition on the planet. 

As his heart broke on the Maracana pitch, the footballing world watched on. Seven years later he returned as a different man, to win the Copa America on Brazilian soil. It was the moment that changed everything for him in an Argentina shirt, as his tears and the trophy removed the pressure that weighed heavy on his shoulders for so long.

Now returns to the Maracana as a World Cup winner. The ghost of 2014 has been buried and Messi is likely to get a positive reception at full-time from a Brazilian crowd that truly respects him. A goal at 2/1 would cap off a sporting return packed full of emotion. 

Check out our 2026 World Cup odds here.

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