Bravo will be looking to repeat his clean sheet against Brazil / ANFP Chile

There are big games in store for Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves and Claudio Bravo tonight as their national sides play the second set of fixtures in the South American qualifiers for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

All three Barça players were in the starting line-ups for the opening matches on Thursday, with a mixed bag of results.

Argentina, without the injured Messi, were stunned 2-0 at home to Ecuador and Tata Martino now needs to get something out of a tricky trip to Paraguay. Mascherano is expected to be in the starting line-up against a side that won its opening fixture away to Venezuela.

And it’s precisely Venezuela who will be providing the second opposition for Brazil, who are missing the suspended Neymar and the injured Rafinha, although Alves is likely to start in defence. Like Argentina, Brazil need to make amends for defeat five days ago, 2-0 in Chile.

That result was disappointing for Brazil, but not so for Claudio Bravo and the Copa America champions. The side coached by Jorge Sampaoli now travel to Peru, who lost to Colombia in their first game.

Uruguay, without the suspended Luis Suárez, are at home to Colombia today after defying the altitude to defeat Bolivia in La Paz last Thursday.

The kick-off times of the games are as follows:

Paraguay v Argentina
Stadium: Defensores del Chaco (Asunción)
Kick off: 9.00pm (local) and 2.00am (CET)

Brazil v Venezuela
Stadium: Castelão (Fortaleza)
Kick off: 10.00pm (local) and 3.00am (CET)

Peru v Chile
Stadium: Nacional (Lima)
Kick off: 9.15pm (local) and 4.15am (CET)

Elsewhere, Arda Turan and Ivan Rakitic are involved in the battle to reach Euro2016 in France. Rakitic’s Croatia side are already guaranteed a place in the play offs and if they can beat Malta in their final group game they still have a chance of finishing second in Group H and qualifying directly for next summer’s tournament. Turan’s Turkey team go into their final game in Group A knowing that a point at home to leaders Iceland will be enough for a place in the play offs next month.

Malta v Croatia
National Stadium, Ta' Qali
Kick off:
8.45pm (CET)

Turkey v Iceland
Konya Büyükşehir Belediyesi Stadyumu
Kick off:
8.45pm (CET)

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