Venezuela and Argentina meet in the quarter finals at this year’s Copa America, kicking off on Friday afternoon at 4:00pm local time in the Maracanã stadium in Brazil, which is an 8:00pm kick off time in the UK. This is a repeat of the quarter finals that took place in the last Copa America, which Argentina won 4-1.
Venezuela home political news may be an extra motivation for the Venezuelan players to bring some joy to the country that is passing bad times. In their group, they have exceeded expectations by finishing 2nd place behind Brazil to advance to the quarter finals for the 2nd consecutive time. In their opener, they delivered a dogged performance against Peru to get a 0-0 draw which kept their qualification hopes well and truly alive.
Venezuela were fairly defensive in getting that draw against Peru, but even more so in their 2nd game against the hosts Brazil, which was a fantastic achievement – earning another 0-0 stalemate. In their final group game, they needed a win to secure 2nd place against Bolivia, and achieved it by winning the game 3-1. They now have the chance to avenge Argentina for their defeat three years ago at the same stage.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Argentina haven’t been anywhere near their best, but have a winnable game here to set them up with a semi-final clash with hosts Brazil. The critics will still be out there for Argentina, as they could only win one of their opening three group games. They deservedly lost to Colombia on match day one, before labouring to a draw with Paraguay in their 2nd game. Going into the Qatar match, they needed a win, and was largely helped due to a massive error from one of the Qatar players who let Lautauro Martinez score within the first four minutes.
Despite this advantage, they couldn’t stamp their authority on the game and it took them until the 82nd minute for some individual brilliance from Sergio Aguero to seal the points. Lionel Messi has underperformed so far, despite scoring once from the penalty spot. Can he turn it up a notch in the quarter finals?
Head to Head
Argentina have a dominating record against Venezuela, with 21 wins out of 25 meetings, including a 19 match winning streak from 1956 to 2011. Venezuela have only won twice in their history, but some crumbs of comfort for them, is that one of those wins came in their most recent encounter, and the two games prior to that, they managed to draw. Despite it being a friendly, Venezuela can be happy with their 3-1 friendly win this March. They have only met once in Copa America since 1991, and that came in the last one in 2016, which Argentina won convincingly 4-1 – Gonzalo Higuain scored twice, along with a goal apiece from Lionel Messi and Erik Lamela.
Our Predictions and Betting Tips
Argentina are favourites to win here at 8/15, with Venezuela at 5/1. For the sides to draw, that is priced at 29/10. I believe everyone is willingly hoping for a Brazil-Argentina semi-final, but I hope we don’t get disappointed by Argentina here. I can see them winning this match by a narrow 1-0 margin at 5/1. For the goal scorer, I’d stay clear of Messi from a value perspective, and instead choose Lautaro Martinez to score first again at 4/1.
There haven’t been many goals at this Copa America, with only one game producing more than 4 goals. In the quarter final between these two teams at the last Copa America, there were 5 goals produced, and you can back that at 11/2. To increase odds on an Argentina win, you can back them to win to nil (11/8), or even win after extra time at 17/2.
Finally, if you believe Argentina will continue to disappoint, bet on Venezuela to beat Argentina OR take them to extra time at 11/8, in a double chance bet.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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