South America has reached the halfway point
In the Conmebol qualification, four-time world champions Brazil find themselves in dire straits. National team coach Wanderley Luxemburgo was fired after a string of disappointing results, but is yet to be replaced. Luxemburgo's dismissal was widely expected and came after the Olympic team's failure to progress beyond the quarter-finals in Sydney. Unfancied Venezuela will try to cash in on this situation when they take on Brazil in the upcoming qualifier in Maracaibo.
Argentina are clearly in charge of matters in South America. With four points advance on Colombia, the "Gauchos" are in a more than comfortable situation before their River Plate duel against Uruguay, who in turn will seek at least one away point to stay close to the top.
Colombia enjoys a successful campaign as well and will strive to make further progress in their home match against Paraguay. Chilavert and his team, currently ex aequo with Brazil and Uruguay, are, however, determined to snatch an away point as well.
Ecuador and Chile must each secure a win if they want to avoid the risk of falling behind even further, while Bolivia and Peru appear to have fallen by the wayside for good.