Tite: Argentina must have trouble sleeping as doubts over World Cup grow

Tite insisted CONMEBOL winner Brazil will not be doing favours for any country in the final round of World Cup qualifying.

Tite's Brazil was the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after host Russia.   -  Getty Images

Brazil head coach Tite believes Argentina must be having trouble sleeping as it faces the possibility of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970.

Lionel Messi's Argentina is outside the CONMEBOL qualifying places and in danger of failing to book a spot at Russia 2018 heading into Tuesday's do-or-die clash against Ecuador at altitude in Quito.

The two-time world champion, runner-up three years ago, has been a mainstay in the showpiece tournament since missing the 1970 edition in Mexico, but three consecutive draws have left Argentina adrift of the play-off spot on goals scored.

Read: Scenarios facing the teams to ensure qualification for Russia 2018

South American leader Brazil, meanwhile, is already assured of a berth at next year's World Cup and there are suggestions the Selecao – with nothing to play for against hopeful Chile in Sao Paulo – could deliberately harm Argentina's chances, but Tite insisted that is not the case.

"I want the competition to be fair," Tite told reporters on Monday. "That will make us all play well.

"I have friends in Argentina. I respect Jose Pekerman very much in Colombia and I recognise the capacity of Chile."

Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina (25 points) is sixth following last week's goalless draw with Peru, but a win over Ecuador would see it rise above Colombia (26) or Peru (25), which is due to meet in Lima.

Copa America champions Chile (26 points) are third, behind inconsistent Uruguay (28) and group winner Brazil (38), while seventh-placed Paraguay (24) also remain in contention.

"Qualification for the World Cup is not about one game, it is about a full campaign", added Tite, who is open to continuing in his role beyond the World Cup.

"Yesterday [Sunday], we thanked each other because we are already qualified.

"I can't imagine what it is like for others; they must be having trouble sleeping. We are going to do what is most important for us, for the dignity of a people. [In the end], others will reap what their work sowed."

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