Brazil vs Paraguay – Copa America :The Copa America is reaching its decisive stage, or the knockout stage, as it is usually known
With each match sending one team home and the other through, even if the matches have to go extra-time or penalties.
This 2nd stage of the competition kicks off with the quarterfinals, with the first one involving the host team, Brazil, and Paraguay.
Paraguay was the team that eliminated the Brazilians on the last two editions of this same competition (excluding the Copa America Centenario, that was played in the USA).
In 2011, in Argentina, Brazilians and Paraguayans have faced off twice. Firstly, on the group stage, with both teams not being able to get more than a 2-2 draw and then in the quarterfinals, where once again the result was a draw, but that time 0-0.
After extra-time, penalties were necessary to break the dreadlock and the Paraguayans had the upper hand there. They then ended up reaching the final, where they lost against Uruguay.
On the 2015 edition, organized by Chile, Brazil and Paraguay have faced off, once again, in the quarterfinals, and, once again, the match finished with a 1-1 draw, then advancing to penalties. What happened? Exactly, the Paraguayans won again and have eliminated the Brazilians once again.
Derlis González scored the goal that Paraguay got during regulation, and he was also called-up for this encounter.
To these 3 matches we also have to add another draw, by 2-2, that took place in the qualification stage for the World Cup in Russia.
Basically, 4 consecutive matches where the Brazilians weren’t able to beat Paraguay.
But, eventually, it had to come to an end, as we usually say, since on the 2nd half of that qualification stage, Brazil won comfortably by 3-0 at the Arena Corinthians.
How will it be this time? Will the Paraguayans be able to stop this “super strong” Brazil?
The Brazilian side is the host of the competition. They are playing at home and with the support of the millions of Brazilians, the ones in the stands and the ones outside the stadiums, at the beaches and at home.
When the Brazilian players go onto the pitch, only one thought will be on their minds: to win and ensure a spot in the semi-finals.
Brazil sealed their presence on the quarterfinals with a comfortable and dominant victory over Peru, by 5-0.
The highlight of that match were the goals scored by Everton (Grêmio’s striker, who is rumoured to be able to go to Manchester United), the veteran Dani Alves and Willian.
The negative note goes to Gabriel Jesus, whose penalty taken at the end of the match was stopped by the opposing goalkeeper.
It was a very inspired performance from the Brazilians and a very poor one from the Peruvians.
Previously, Brazil had conceded a 0-0 draw against Venezuela and on the first round, they took care of Bolivia with a 3-0, as it was expected.
Tite has been feeling some difficulties to finetune things, but it seems that they are on the right track now and following the universal rule, it is unlikely that he will make any change to the starting line-up utilized against Peru, counting with Roberto Firmino in attack, assisted by Everton and Gabriel Jesus. My prediction for the starting line-up is:
Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Tiago Silva, Filipe Luís; Fernandinho (or maybe Alan, if Tite wants to risk a bit more), Arthur; Gabriel Jesus, Coutinho, Everton; Firmino.
Paraguay comes into this stage of the competition by advancing as the 2nd best 3rd placed team, benefiting from the draw against Ecuador and Japan.
The Paraguayans have started off their campaign in this competition well, by getting a 2-goal advantage over the guests, Qatar. But, as time went by, Qatar started growing on the match and they ended up drawing the match, although they have benefited from an own goal.
Then came another draw, but this one that tasted like victory, since it was against Argentina. The last round brought a loss against Colombia, by the minimum margin, 1-0.
And without winning any match so far, here is Paraguay, ensuring their qualification onto the quarterfinals.
Just like they have done in 2011, drawing 5 of the 6 matches played and in 2015, where they’ve reached the semi-finals, then being defeated by Argentina there.
Eduardo Berizzo will, most likely, look for defensive stability to avoid the castle to crumble, just like it happened against Peru, postponing Brazil’s goal as much as possible, with the intent of taking it to extra-time and then to penalties.
It is important to remind that Óscar Cardozo is available to play and his penalties are, usually, well-taken.
The tactical formation that he might chose should be the same 4-4-1-1 they utilized against Argentina and Colombia and that granted them a solid performance from the defensive point of view.
Here is my prediction for the Paraguayan starting line-up:
Fernandez; Valdez, Balbuena, Alonso, Arzamendia; Ortiz, Rojas; Gonzalez, Almiron, Dominguez; Cardozo
The market has a strong expectation regarding a comfortable Brazilian victory, very likely, due to the result obtained against Peru.
And in fact, if Brazil present themselves concentrated, focused and the stands don’t harass their players, and if Paraguay crumbles, get nervous and start making mistakes, we might see a beatdown.
But that’s not my expectation.
Paraguay, on the 3 matches they’ve played, only got such a comfortable victory against Qatar and in my opinion, that is personal, that might be to an excess of confidence, allied to the lack of knowledge of the opposition.
I consider that Eduardo Berizzo and his team probably didn’t offer a lot of credit to the Qatari side.
With their usual players, although with more value and talent, they ended up getting low-scoring results. Which means, they’ve managed to be competent against the opponents they know better.
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Brazil vs Paraguay – Betting Tip and Prediction: :
The same happens to Brazil. They have battered Bolivia by 3-0, but they were expected to win by more.
Then, came a goalless draw against Venezuela and yes, the beatdown over Peru, but everything went wrong for Peru, especially Pedro Gallese’s night. The goalkeeper, that would end up redeeming himself at the end, by saving Gabriel Jesus’ penalty.
Therefore, I’ll suggest betting on “Under 2.75 Goals”, reminding that our bet will only be totally lost if the match has 4 or more goals, because until 3 goals we get back half our stake.
PREDICTION AND BETTING TIP
|Under 2.75 goals||