vs. Location: King Abdullah Sports City, Saudi Arabia Brazil roster:Goleiros: Alisson (Roma) Ederson (Manchester City) Phelipe (Grêmio) Defensores: Danilo (Manchester City) Filipe Luis (Atlético Madrid) Eder Militão (Porto) Fabinho (Liverpool) Alex Sandro (Juventus) Marquinhos (PSG) Miranda (Internazionale) Pablo (Bordeaux) Meio-campistas: Arthur (Barcelona) Casemiro (Real Madrid) Fred (Manchester United) Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan) Walace (Hannover) Atacantes: Lucas Moura (Tottenham) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) Malcom (Barcelona) Neymar (PSG) Richarlison (Everton) The post-2018 World Cup cycle continues for Brazil as Tite's squad visits the faraway land... rather, sand, of Saudi Arabia for two friendlies. After a moderate effort in beating the hosts on October 12 by 2-0, Brazil meets a drastically revamped Argentina in what may be one of the less eventful chapters in the long South American rivalry. Whereas Brazil retains the foundation of the squad that rocked CONMEBOL en route to a convincing 1st place finish in qualifying for the last World Cup, Argentina imploded in Russia - the logical conclusion of endless drama, rumors, infighting, and a torrent of criticism from its fans, sports press, and former players. And while both are rebuilding, the Brazilians have the latitude to experiment and to fine-tune an already well-oiled team, whereas the Argentines are finding out which are the foundational pieces for what they hope will become a competitive team in the future. The Brazil-Argentina rivalry is indisputably South America's fiercest and one of the world's most famous soccer rivalries. But the expansion of WCQ in CONMEBOL to an "every team vs. every team, home & away" format starting with 1998, followed by more numerous friendlies and confrontations in intercontinental cups, have made Brazil vs. Argentina a lot more frequent than it was in generations past. This match is a friendly, but it promises to be hard-fought and physical given the history between the two sides. Interim manager Lionel Scaloni is promoting a veritable revolution in his team. Argentina's elimination in the round of 16 at the World Cup resulted in the retirement of a number of players who had been guaranteed starters for many years. In their place comes a host of very young and skilled players, such as Ascacibar, Dybala, Icardi, and Martínez. The Argentines defeated Iraq 4-0 in a friendly also held in Saudi Arabia, but both they and Brazil expect this matchup to be more difficult. Much can happen in between World Cups, and Brazil is definitely ahead of Argentina by virtue of its maintenance of Tite, the manager who coached Brazil in Russia and whose work took a 6th place team to a hot streak of wins and a comfortable top of the league table finish in WCQ. And between the French victory over Croatia and the kickoff in Qatar 2022, CONMEBOL will have the 2019 Copa América (held in Brazil) and a very long WCQ. These two teams will meet twice in WCQ and if the brackets cooperate, in a winner-take-all elimination round – or perhaps championship match – in next year’s Copa América. As WCQ matches have points on the line and as a Copa América encounter is unlike this friendly a competitive match with more than just pride on the line (with the trophy and the rich historical context of an intercontinental cup final between both held in Brazil), this friendly held in Saudi territory would appear to pale in significance. Thus, while it'd be reasonable for Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Casemiro, Arthur, and the rest to face tough marking and aggressive play from the likes of Kannemann (an Argentine who has earned the respect of many Brazilians thanks to his contributions at Grêmio), not to mention the speed and zeal of Lautaro Martínez, Dybala, Icardi, and Giovanni Simeone (son of the notorious Diego who more than once displayed dirty and violent tactics against Brazilians in his playing days), this match may well have as its greatest hallmark an opportunity for both to improve their teams. Trash talk is expected, but it will be in 2019 and 2020 (and 2021, arguably) that what we can expect to see in 2022 will really manifest on the pitches of South American and European stadiums. The following was the starting XI deployed by Scaoloni in his team's friendly vs. Iraq: Goleiros: Sergio Romero (Manchester United); M. Acuña (Sporting), Funes Mori (Villareal), G. Pezzella (Fiorentina), Fabricio Bustos (Independiente); Leandro Paredes (Zenit); Rodrigo de Paul (Udinese); Franco Vázquez (Sevilla), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Paulo Dybala (Juventus); Lautaro Martínez (Internazionale).