Colombia finds itself fighting for the final automatic qualifying position with Uruguay while also trying to fend off Paraguay for fifth, putting them in a playoff for a qualifying spot.
Reinaldo Rueda’s squad will go up against three nations ahead of them in Uruguay, Brazil, and Ecuador. The good news for Colombia is that two of these three crucial fixtures will be at home in Barranquilla. The bad news is that they’ll have to travel to Uruguay in hopes of leaping over them in the standings.
Also, these qualifying fixtures will see the return of Premier League players, so they’ll be at full strength as they recently announced their call-ups for the October matches. Nonetheless, the most notable omission continues to be the absence of James Rodriguez, who recently departed Everton to join Al-Rayyan SC.
Here’s the entire list of call-ups for Colombia:
Goalkeepers: Aldair Quintana – Atletico Nacional (COL), Camilo Vargas – Atlas (MEX), and David Ospina – SSC Napoli (ITA)
Defenders: Carlos Cuesta – KRC Genk (BEL), Daniel Muñoz – KRC Genk (BEL), Dávinson Sánchez – Tottenham Hotspur (ING), Jhon Lucumí – KRC Genk (BEL), Johan Mojica – Elche (ESP), Stefan Medina – Monterrey (MEX), William Tesillo – Club León (MEX), and Yerry Mina – Everton (ENG)
Midfielders: Éder Álvarez Balanta – Club Brujas (BEL), Gustavo Cuéllar – Al-Hilal (KSA), Jéfferson Lerma – AFC Bournemouth (ING), Juan Fernando Quintero – Shenzhen FC (CHN), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado – Juventus (ITA), Matheus Uribe – FC Porto (POR), and Wílmar Barrios – Zenit of Saint Petersburg (RUS)
Forwards: Duván Zapata – Atalanta BC (ITA), Falcao García – Rayo Vallecano (ESP), Luis Diaz – FC Porto (POR), Luis Sinisterra – Feyenoord (NED), Miguel Ángel Borja – Guild (BRA), Rafael Santos Borré – Eintracht Frankfurt (ALE), and Róger Martínez – Club America (MEX)