Argentina forward Lucas Pratto claims Brazil fears midfield maestro Lionel Messi as the two South American giants prepare to lock horns.
"[Brazil] has to do what it has been doing", winger Douglas Costa, "regardless of Argentina".
The four automatic spots from South American qualifying are now held by Brazil, Uruguay (20 points), and Ecuador and Colombia (17).
Brazil has meanwhile won its first four games under new coach Tite and will be looking to turn the page on Thursday when it returns to the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte where it was crushed 7-1 by Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.
So shocking it was that you can still go anywhere in the country today and the words sete um - Portuguese for 7-1 - continue to resonate as deeply as they did on July 8, 2014 when, in front of 58,000 slack-jawed spectators, Germany eliminated the Fifa World Cup hosts in the most merciless manner. "And they feel the same about our players, our team".
None of the players spoke to the waiting media on landing in the Brazilian city, and instead, dodged through security and headed straight to their respective national team's hotels.
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And with Messi back to fitness after missing October's clashes through injury, coach Edgardo Bauza has opted to play him alongside the Juventus hitman in a conservative starting formation. Whilst the supposed big hitters of Europe face the challenges of small dukedoms in Western Europe, the current Copa America champions, Chile, are facing another global super power in the shape of Colombia.
The return of Messi to their ranks should calm their nerves. Argentina are sixth, five points behind the Selecao. The fifth-place team advances to an intercontinental playoff. Neymar led the U-23 Brazilian side at the games.
Brazil have overcome one major psychological barrier in recent months, when their under-23 team, including overage players Renato Augusto and Neymar, beat Germany at the Maracana stadium to win the Olympic gold medal for the first time.
"More than anything I am thinking about our opponents, and that we can not repeat the mistakes of other games in which we ended up broken".
Argentina's recent record, meanwhile, is nearly the opposite, with just one win in four since coach Edgardo Bauza took the reins in August.
However, the Selaco have emerged as a different side under their new manager Tite.