Brazil and Paraguay face each other in the quarter finals of the 2019 edition of Copa America, kicking off at 9:30pm local time in Porto Alegre, Brazil on Thursday evening. In the UK, the match will be in the early hours of Friday morning, at 1:30am.
Brazil have generated mixed reviews from onlookers over their first three performances, but are still strong favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since 2007. Fans booed them off at half time in their first two encounters, but they finally gave their fans a 5-star performance as they beat Peru 5-0 in the final group game to secure top spot. Peru had knocked them out three years ago, so revenge was definitely served nice and cold.
That win has given Brazil a newfound confidence, so the nation will truly expect them to go on and win the tournament now. On top of that win, it must be reminded that Brazil are yet to concede a goal at this tournament, and in Neymar’s absence, they have unearthed a gem, called Everton, who will be playing in his home town on Thursday. Can he add to his two goals in this tournament with another screamer?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Against the odds, Paraguay managed to finish as one of the best 3rd placed teams after Ecuador and Japan drew 1-1 with each other in a group C match. That result meant that Paraguay’s two points was enough to see them progress on goal difference. They threw away a 2-0 lead against Qatar to drew 2-2, and lost to a weakened Colombia team in their three group matches, with their only respectful result coming from their game with Argentina which they drew 1-1. So despite going through via the skin of their teeth, they now have the chance to try and overcome hosts Brazil in the quarter finals. Paraguay have yet to win a game at this tournament, and haven’t won a competitive game since beating Colombia in 2017. Can they do the unthinkable here?
Head to Head
Brazil have won this fixture 48 times in the past, with Paraguay winning on 13 occasions. Brazil tend to have the upper hand over Paraguay in most matches, including friendlies and World Cup qualification, but Paraguay have been the bogey side for Brazil in Copa America. In the last four Copa America meetings, Brazil have failed to beat Paraguay, with their last win coming in 2001.
Paraguay knocked Brazil out of the Copa America in 2015 and 2011 via a penalty shoot-out in the quarter final stage, and also held Brazil to a 2-2 draw in the group stage in the 2011 tournament, too. In addition to that, Paraguay beat Brazil in the group stage in the 2004 edition. Paraguay will attempt to keep history on their side for this match, but this time will have to win in Brazil – something they haven’t done since 1949.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Our Predictions and Betting Tips
Brazil are overwhelming favourites to win this game at 1/6, with Paraguay priced at 18/1 to win in 90 minutes or at 11/2 to take the game to extra time. To qualify outright, Brazil are at 1/25 with Paraguay at 9/1. Despite Paraguay having a hoodo over Brazil, I cannot see them progressing here in any type of scenario. I’d back Brazil to get a 3-0 win here at 5/1, but to double your earnings, you can back them to win narrowly in a 2-1 score line at 10/1.
Paraguay may not have what it takes to win, but they can certainly frustrate Brazil. Therefore, backing Paraguay to be drawing at half time (13/8), or Brazil to win by a 1-goal margin at 10/3 should be considered.
Finally, for goal scorers, I’d back both Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to score at 7/2 – both have already scored at this championships, and look a constant threat.[geot country="US,CA" ]
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