The 2nd game of the Copa America is a group A match between Venezuela and Peru, at the Arena do Grêmio, in Porto Alegre. The match will kick off at 4:00pm local time in Brazil on Saturday, which would be 8:00pm UK time. These two teams are in the same group as Brazil, and will be fighting to get 2nd place to automatically qualify for the quarter finals.

Venezuela

Venezuela are at 33/1 to win the tournament, with them pipped to finish 3rd in the group behind Brazil and Peru. Nonetheless, they’ll be hoping to emulate their Copa America performance from 2016, as they progressed to the quarter finals by beating Jamaica and Uruguay in the group stage. Unfortunately for them, they were given the arduous task of trying to stop Lionel Messi and Argentina in the next stage, and failed by losing 4-1. Venezuela would hope to get another shot at a quarter final, so this first game against Peru will be vital for them. Leading up to the tournament, Venezuela have played three matches, with their most recent one being an impressive 3-0 win against the USA. Prior to that though, they were disappointing against Mexico in a 3-1 defeat, as well as drawing 1-1 with Ecuador at home.

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Peru

Peru qualified for the World Cup last summer for the first time since 1982, and despite going out in the group stage, gave a few performances for their fans to remember for a long time. They narrowly lost to both France and Denmark in their opening two games to condemn them to elimination, but were extremely unlucky in both. They did manage to finish their World Cup with a 2-0 win against Australia. In addition to that tournament experience, they also reached the Copa America quarter finals back in 2016 after beating Brazil in the group stage to stun South America. It was a penalty shoot-out defeat to Colombia that cost them a place in the semi-finals, but there is confidence within the camp that they can reach that far this time around. They do come into this tournament having lost 3-0 to Colombia at home in a friendly, but manager Ricardo Gareca will hope that will not have any bearing on their competition. Star striker Christian Cueva has scored Peru’s last three goals and will want to desperately add to that on Saturday.

Head to Head

Peru have a far better record in the head to head history, with 20 wins to Venezuela’s 8. However, in the last six years, Venezuela have won twice and only lost once out of 5 matches. Their most recent meetings were in qualification matches for the 2018 World Cup, with both sides cancelling each other out with two 2-2 draws. In Copa America, they have played each other four times since the turn of the millennium, in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2015. Peru have the bragging rights here, winning on three occasions, with Venezuela’s sole victory coming in 2007 – a tournament where they were the hosts.

Predictions and Betting Tips

Peru are slight favourites at 13/10, with Venezuela priced at 9/4. For the sides to get their 3rd consecutive draw against each other, that is at 2/1, or for them to draw 2-2 three times in a row, that is at a generous 20/1. However, I am going to opt for a Peru win here, but it’ll be a close match. I would tip a 2-1 score line in favour of Peru, at 9/1. For both teams to score, and Peru to become the eventual winners, that is at 5/1. If you want to back Venezuela in some capacity, consider backing them to win either half at 5/4 or even to score 2+ goals at 11/4. Finally, the tipsters will want to consider betting on Peru to come from behind to win, which is at a valuable 16/1.

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