Brazil and Bolivia will open up Copa America 2019 at the Estádio do Morumbi, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The match will kick off at 9:30pm local time in Brazil on Friday night, but that will be 1:30am UK time on early Saturday morning. Will the tournament start with an almighty shock? Or will Brazil delight their home support with a fantastic display?

Brazil

Brazil come into Copa America as favourites, which is understandable given that they are hosts, and boast arguably the best squad in the tournament. They haven’t won the tournament since 2007, so there’ll be a huge amount of pressure on the shoulders of manager Tite. After hosting the World Cup in 2014 where they were demolished 7-1 to Germany at the semi-final stage, the squad will quickly want to repay their fans with success here. Captain Neymar will not be involved in the tournament following his injury, but they haven’t missed him in the friendlies leading up to the tournament, as they have beaten Qatar 2-0 and Honduras 7-0. Six different players were on the score sheet for that ardent victory, and now the real competition starts this Friday evening. Brazil will expect an easy victory here against one of the competitions weakest sides. Can they deliver?

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Bolivia

Bolivia have failed to qualify from the group stage in three of the last four tournaments, and have been given a nasty draw in this edition of Copa America, so that horrid little run of not progressing to the next round, may continue. Along with Peru and Venezuela, Bolivia will hope to target a 2nd place spot, or even a best 3rd place position in order to progress, but the odds are simply against them. Leading up to this tournament, Bolivia have played just one friendly, against World Champions France at the beginning of June. In that game, they could only muster four shots at the opposing goal, as they were largely dominated throughout. The end result was only 2-0 though, and managed to keep a clean sheet in the 2nd half. Bolivia held hosts Argentina back in the 2011 Copa America, and they’ll hope they can repeat a similar feat here on Friday night.

Head to Head

This will be the 30th time this two sides have met in their history, with Brazil being the dominant side with 20 victories, compared to Bolivia’s 5 success. They haven’t had it all their own way though, particularly in the last decade or so. In their most recent game back in 2017, Bolivia managed to hold Brazil to a 0-0 draw in a friendly game, and in fact, Brazil have only won two games out of the last five encounters. In competitive action, Bolivia did beat Brazil in qualification for the 2010 World Cup, back in 2009, and also took a point from Brazil too in the return fixture. Brazil did beat Bolivia in their most recent competitive match at home, by an emphatic 5-0 score line. The last time the two sides met in Copa America was in 1997, where Brazil won 3-1, and went on to win the tournament.

Predictions and Betting Tips

Brazil are overwhelming favourites to win at 1/11, with Bolivia huge outsiders at 22/1. For the sides to draw, that is priced at 15/2. There is no prize for guessing what I’ll predict, as I am expecting a rousing victory for Brazil here, with a score line prediction of 4-0 at 11/2. The big money on this game is to predict Brazil to win narrowly, with them at 7/2 to win by a 1-goal margin. Gabriel Jesus is likely to start for Brazil, and he would be favourites to score at any time at 8/11, or to score a brace at 2/1. To boost odds further on a Brazil win, back them to win both halves (8/11), score 5+ goals (9/2), or even to win from behind at 16/1. For the tipsters, you’d have to back Bolivia to cause a bit of a shock here, so you’ll be rewarded if you back them to score first at 15/2.

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