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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Roberto Firmino 'prepared' to replace Gabriel Jesus as Brazil's No. 9

Uruguay's head coach Oscar Tabarez and defender Sebastian Coates admit to being worried about Brazil's Neymar.

Roberto Firmino insists he's ready to replace Gabriel Jesus for Brazil's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.

Brazil lead CONMEBOL qualifying with 27 points and will face second-placed Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday, but will do so without starting striker Gabriel Jesus, who broke his foot in Manchester City's match with Bournemouth last month.

Firmino has been a key figure at Liverpool this season and has been a regular call-up by Brazil boss Tite, though he been reduced...

Uruguay v Brazil: Preview

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Brazil midfielder Casemiro has acknowledged the absence of Luis Suarez could have a major impact on his side's World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday.

Uruguay striker Suarez is suspended for the clash between the top two teams in the South American standings while in another blow for veteran coach Oscar Tabarez, Turkey-based goalkeeper Fernando Muslera is also missing.

Brazil go into the game with their spot in Russia next year already virtually sealed as they hold a four-point...

From crisis to cruise control: Tite has Brazil on course for 2018 World Cup

Tite, in white, has worked wonders in reviving Brazil's World Cup qualification campaign.

Nine months ago, a trip to the Estádio Centenário in Montevideo was hardly something the Brazilian Football Confederation would relish. At that point in World Cup qualifying, many believed the Selecao would be concerned about their prospects given their abysmal start on the road to Russia: as things stood at the time, they were outside the playoff zone and risked missing out.

Uruguay away still is a tough gig, mind you, despite the absence of the suspended Luis Suarez. But the weight on Brazil's...

AFC says East Timor passports for nine Brazilians are invalid

Malaysia vs. Timor Leste
East Timor have already been eliminated from World Cup Asian qualifying.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The East Timor passports of nine Brazilian football players who represented the tiny Pacific island nation have been declared invalid, the Asian Football Confederation said on Wednesday.

FIFA has been investigating the East Timor federation for suspected involvement in wrongly naturalising Brazilians players for selection in 2018 World Cup qualifying and other matches.

East Timor have already been eliminated from World Cup Asian qualifying, which will resume this week halfway...

 By Tim Vickery

The state of play in South America's World Cup qualifiers

Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.
Gary Medel v Argentina
Argentina hosts Chile on Thursday in what could be one of the more decisive ties in this World Cup qualifying campaign.

There are no real prizes for coming first. Or second for that matter. World Cup qualification in South America is all about crossing the line and making it through to Russia.

The first four teams qualify automatically for next year's tournament, with the side finishing fifth having to play off against opponents from Oceania. And as the competition moves into the final third, only Brazil are really sitting pretty.

Those six consecutive wins under new coach Tite have carried Brazil to 27 points. In...