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 By Tim Vickery

48-team World Cup could negatively affect South American qualifying

Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop join Outside the Lines and have their say at FIFA expanding the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

On the website of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation, there is an article entitled: "From 13 teams in Uruguay 1930 to 48 in the 2026 World Cup."

It is a neat way of reminding everyone of one of the great trump cards of the South American game: its fabulous tradition. This is the continent where the World Cup began and which has won nine versions of the tournament, divided between Brazil (five wins) and Uruguay and Argentina (two apiece).

The big three has provided Barcelona with the "MSN"...

 By Tim Vickery

Appetising matchups aplenty in round 11 of CONMEBOL qualifying

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains how Bolivia's forfeits for fielding an ineligible player have affected CONMEBOL standings.

Brazil versus Argentina tends to overshadow everything. But there are some other interesting attractions in Thursday's 11th round of South America's World Cup qualification campaign.

This is a round in which the top six teams meet each other -- and where all but Brazil and Uruguay could be overtaken by seventh place Paraguay, strong favourites to say a winning farewell to all-time top scorer Roque Santa Cruz when they host Peru.

The round gets off to an appetising start with the match between fourth...

Edinson Cavani thriving at Paris Saint-Germain under Unai Emery

It has not been the smoothest of starts to the Ligue 1 season for Paris Saint-Germain, but one member of the French champions' squad is thriving under new manager Unai Emery so far.

Edinson Cavani currently tops the league's scoring charts with eight goals from seven appearances, and he is one of four joint-leading scorers in the UEFA Champions League with three goals from two outings. Cavani has also scored four goals in his last four matches for Uruguay. That gives El Matador 15 goals...

 By Tim Vickery

Colombia, Uruguay's hard-fought draw sees both sides poised to reach Russia

Colombia and Uruguay have taken part in a fascinating, hard-fought rivalry in recent years. They battled for the playoff spot in the World Cup qualification campaigns of 2002, 2006 and 2010 -- Uruguay just coming out on top every time. And they met with a quarterfinal place at stake in Brazil 2014, this time with a victory for the Colombians. And now they ended up all square after a pulsating 2-2 draw in the 10th round of CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Uruguay have recently found...

 By Tim Vickery

Neymar's petulance puts Brazil in danger, while Uruguay top CONMEBOL

At the halfway point of World Cup qualifying, Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador are looking good, Argentina are missing Messi and Chile are outsiders.

1. Brazil have to get a grip on Neymar

Things could hardly have gone better for Tite since taking over as manager of Brazil. His team have put together three victories, consolidating an attractive style of play and winning back their own supporters. It could hardly have gone better. But there is one problem: the behaviour of the star player.

In the 5-0...

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay, Brazil look to solidify World Cup places in wide-open CONMEBOL

There is a striking coincidence in the fixture list as South America's marathon World Cup qualification campaign reaches the halfway stage Thursday. In the ninth round, the top half of the table take on the bottom half. The first five are up against the last five.

The highly competitive nature of the campaign is evidenced by the clash between the team at the top of the table (Uruguay, with 16 points) and the team at the bottom (Venezuela, with two). It has been only four months since these teams...