Brazil meet Venezuela on the 2nd match day of their Copa America Group A, kicking off at 9:30pm local time in Salvador – 01:30am in the UK. The hosts Brazil got off to a winning start, with Venezuela drawing in their opener.

Brazil

Brazil fans were largely unimpressed by their team’s showing in the first half against Bolivia on Friday night, being held to a goalless draw as the whistle went for half time. However, the 70% full stadium finally had something to cheer when Brazil upped a gear to score two goals in the space of three minutes early in the 2nd half – both coming from Barcelona star, Philippe Coutinho.

Young talent Everton – who plays his trade at Gremio – scored a sublime third goal which arrowed into the corner. The second half performance will alleviate some pressure on Brazil, who should now expect to qualify first from the group. In the end, Brazil had 25 shots at the oppositions goal, and dominated for the entire match. Can Brazil kick-on from this victory?

Venezuela

Venezuela were held in an entertaining 0-0 draw with Peru this past Saturday. VAR was involved a lot during the game, but it was only helped in reducing the scoring of the fixture, and all decisions were correct. Venezuela finished the game with only 10 men, as Luis Del Pino Mago was sent off, meaning the side had to hold on to a vital point in the latter stages. In the Copa America, 2nd place qualifies as well as two of the best placed 3rd teams – so usually 4 points can do it.

Venezuela may not be expecting too much from the Brazil game, but also have the Bolivia game where they’d expect to earn three points, taking them to 4. The most notable player for Venezuela is Newcastle striker Salomón Rondón, who went closest for Venezuela on Saturday afternoon, and will be the biggest threat once again to Brazil.

Head to Head

Brazil have a near-perfect record against Venezuela winning 21 matches out of the 25 meetings, and only losing on two occasions. Venezuela’s first win came back in the sides first ever meeting, way back in 1959, and then again more recently winning 2-0 in Brazil in 2008, but that was only a friendly. In competitive action, Brazil won 17 times in a row from 1969 to 2005. In the last six meetings, Venezuela have held Brazil to two 0-0 draws – both in Brazil.

The sides have met in Copa America seven times, with Brazil winning on six occasions, with Venezuela’s only draw in the 2011 edition. They last met in back to back games in World Cup qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, with Brazil winning 3-1 at home, and 2-0 away. Prior to that, Brazil had beaten Venezuela 2-1 in the 2015 Copa America.

Predictions and Betting Tips

Brazil are strong favourites at 1/6 to win their 2nd group game, with Venezuela priced at 14/1 for a famous victory, or 11/2 to earn a draw. I believe Venezuela will provide Brazil a sterner test, but I can only see one outcome here – a home victory. The score line I’d back would be 3-1 to Brazil at 11/1.

For goal scorers, I’d back both Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison at 3/1. For Venezuela, they are capable of getting one goal, so you can back hit-man Salomon Rondon to score in a defeat, priced at 15/2. Brazil had to wait until the 2nd half to stamp their authority on Bolivia, but I expect them to start quicker here and lead throughout the game – therefore a Brazil/Brazil HF/FT bet at 8/15 should be considered.

Finally, for the tipsters, the real money is by backing Venezuela in some capacity, so backing them to score 2+ goals is at 10/1 or even backing them to be leading at half time is at 12/1.

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