Colombia and Paraguay meet in their final crucial Group B match on Sunday, kicking off at 8:00pm local time (4:00pm UK), in Salvador, Brazil. It’s a huge game for Paraguay who will most likely need a win in order to progress to the latter stages of Copa America.
Colombia are home and hosed, and can relax before going into their final group game. Win, lose or draw, they have already confirmed top spot in group B. They have achieved that by conquering Argentina in their first game, before finally overcoming Qatar in a narrow 1-0 win this past Thursday. Manager Carlos Queiroz has built up a good reputation for manager international teams, after his success with Iran, and he looks to be rebuilding a solid Colombia team here.
With the likes of Davinson Sanchez, and Yerry Mina in a central defensive partnership, it looks very difficult for any opposition to break them down. At the other end of the pitch, the new star striker of Colombia, Duvan Zapata, made his mark on this tournament by scoring the later winner against Qatar with a sublime header. Can Colombia make it three wins from three? Or will they choose to rest players for the quarter final matches?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Paraguay will certainly hope that Colombia play a weakened team in their final game, with first place assured, as Paraguay hope to finish as the runners up in this difficult group B. Two games, two draws so far for Paraguay, and they still have destiny within their own hands, but will have mixed feelings about their opening two games. Against Qatar, they let a 2-0 lead slip which was rather unforgiving, but managed to win some pride back with a credible draw against Argentina in the second game.
Paraguay took the lead against Argentina through Richard Sanchez, but for the 2nd time in the tournament, they relinquished their lead as they drew 1-1. The biggest regret for Paraguay is that they missed a penalty which would have put them back in control of the match. Will that miss come back to haunt them? Realistically, they’ll need a win here to progress.
Head to Head
It’s one of the most even head to head records between two South American teams, as Colombia have won this fixture 21 times, and Paraguay have won 19 times. Draws don’t tend to happen between these teams as there has been 13 games without a draw, spanning back to 2004. In the last meeting, Paraguay have come out on top winning 2-1 in Colombia, as they scored two goals in the last four minutes of the game. That ended a horrid spell for them, as they lost to Colombia five times in a row prior to that. In Copa America history, they have met twice in the last millennium, with Paraguay recording a famous 5-0 victory in the 2007 edition, but Colombia getting their revenge at the last Copa America (2016), when they beat Paraguay 2-1.
Our Predictions and Betting Tips
Colombia are slight favourites to win at 7/5, with Paraguay at 9/5. A draw is priced at 23/10. It’s a tough one to call, as it may depend on what side Colombia chooses to put out. If they rest key players, Paraguay would be even more encouraged to get that all-important victory. Therefore, I am going to predict a win for Paraguay, and I’d go for a 1-0 score line at 8/1.
To increase odds even further, add Federico Santander to score that goal in a Scorecast at 33/1. I have predicted a tight cagey match, but it could be the polar opposite, so consider backing there to be more than 3.5 goals at 5/2, or even both teams to score in both halves at 10/1. Finally, if you want to stick with the favourites, Colombia, they may finish the group in style, so back them to win both halves at 15/2.
Alternatively, you can go against their head to head record, and finally predict a draw between the two, with a 1-1, 2-2 or 3-3 priced at 3/1.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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