2019 Copa America Betting Preview: Brazil vs. Paraguay – Thursday, June 27, 2019
When: Thursday, June 27, 2019, at 08:30 PM
Where: Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Odds: Brazil -625, Draw +640, Paraguay +1050 @ BetOnline
Brazil will resume their home Copa America campaign on Thursday night, June 27, when the Selecao will face a lucky Paraguay side that reached the knockout phase without actually winning a game. This clash will kick-off the 2019 Copa America quarterfinals.
Four years after their last Copa America meeting in Chile, where Robinho opened the score for the Selecao and Derlis Gonzalez equalized in the second-half after a penalty-kick, Brazil will seek revenge for the dramatic loss.
Brazil finished top of Group A and even though the home crowd booed the players several times, Tite's men were almost perfect. They won the opening match against Bolivia (3-0), before a disappointing goalless draw against Venezuela, where the VAR disallowed three goals of the Selecao. However, Brazil bounced back to bash Peru (5-0) in their most impressive competitive victory for a few years.
Paraguay, on the other hand, were really fortunate to make it out of the group stage but that's not something new for them. In fact, La Albirroja were runners-up only eight years ago, in 2011, when they reached the final game after five consecutive draws (in regular time) before the 3-0 loss to Uruguay in the final. The same streak included two draws against Brazil – 2-2 in the group phase and 0-0 in the quarterfinals.
Head-to-Head Stats (H2H)
Tite's side are yet to concede and are strong favorites to lift the Copa on home soil, however, they just cannot afford to underestimate Paraguay who have knocked them out in their past two Copa America encounters. Furthermore, the Selecao have failed to beat La Albirroja in their last four Copa America meetings, with Brazil's last victory (3-1) being back in the 2001 group phase.
Paraguay were surprisingly victorious when they met Brazil in the 2011 and 2015 quarter-finals, having won twice on penalties and thus eliminating one of the usual suspects to win the trophy.
The 2011 quarterfinal defeat was pretty embarrassing as Brazil lost 2-0 on penalties, meaning they have failed to score in four attempts.
Beyond their Copa America history over the past few decades, Brazil and Paraguay often meet in the South American World Cup qualifying, where after a 2-2 draw in Paraguay in 2016, Brazil finally won 3-0 in the reverse leg in Sao Paulo two years ago.
Brazil – Team News
Unbeaten in 13 matches (winning 11 of them) since being knocked out of the 2018 World Cup, the 2019 Copa America hosts are firm favorites to move into the final four as they have fired five past Los Incas in their final group game.
The Selecao regained their mojo right in time and Paraguay have all reasons to be concerned by Brazil's fearsome display in the 5-0 victory over the 2015 bronze medalists. Now Tite's men will face the fourth-placed team from 2015 and they have some old scores to settle with them.
Tite might be tempted to field the same formation that outclassed Peru in an extremely convincing manner. However, he will have to rotate a bit since Casemiro is suspended as the Real Madrid midfielder accumulated yellow cards.
Experienced Man City anchor Fernandinho should recover from injury in time to replace Casemiro, otherwise Napoli's Allan is another option to start alongside Arthur in central midfield.
Meanwhile, the Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is expected to lead the line once again, while Willian, who came off the bench to score the fifth goal against Peru, can claim the starting spot at right-wing at the expense of Gabriel Jesus, who missed a stoppage time penalty last time out.
Paraguay – Team News
Paraguay comes after a narrow defeat against Colombia's B squad and they need to improve a lot if they want to stand a chance against an inspired Brazil.
La Albirroja won just once in their last 11 matches, losing six in the process, but Eduardo Berizzo's selection benefited of the draw between Japan and Ecuador in Group C. Thus Paraguay remained second in the ranking of third-placed teams although they collected just two points out of three games.
Eduardo Berizzo will most likely stick with the 4-4-1-1 formation he used against the likes of Argentina and Colombia, and he will hope to avoid conceding an early goal which could be a sudden game changer.
Junior Alonso (Boca Juniors) and Gustavo Gomez (Palmeiras) will probably start as a centre-back duo again, while West Ham's Fabian Balbuena will sit on the bench
Derlis Gonzalez was the golden boy for Paraguay when they challenged Brazil in 2015, as he scored twice from the spot, including the winning goal in the penalty-shootout. The 25-years-old Santos winger is one of the players who have the potential to threaten Brazil's defense here, though he failed to impress against Argentina and Colombia, after he scored in the opener against Qatar.
Newcastle United's talented attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron and veteran centre-forward Oscar Cardozo are the others who should be closely monitored by the Brazilian defense. The 36-year-old Cardozo has scored seven goals in his last eight appearances for club and country. Nevertheless, the Paraguayans will likely spend most of their game on defending and they have already proven to be a tough nut to crack in their match against Argentina.
Possible Starting Lineups of Brazil and Paraguay
Brazil: Alisson – Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Dani Alves – Fernandinho, Arthur – Everton, Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus – Roberto Firmino. (4-2-3-1)
Paraguay: Roberto Fernandez – Ivan Piris, Junior Alonso, Gustavo Gomez, Santiago Arzamendia – Derlis Gonzalez, Richard Sanchez, Juan Rodrigo Rojas, Matias Rojas – Miguel Almiron – Oscar Cardozo. (4-4-1-1)
The Selecao have conceded just two goals (both in friendlies) in 13 games since their World Cup setback in Russia last summer. Their solid defensive line seems to be their greatest asset, even greater than the home advantage, and Tite's men look confident enough despite Neymar's absence. In fact their title-winning chances have been boosted by their excellent defending ability, which sometimes seems impossible to the other Copa America contenders.
Moreover, Brazil have bagged a clean sheet in each of their last five outings – all of them this month – and have scored 17 goals at the same time. We believe that Brazil and Alisson in particular will record another clean sheet but they won't be that effective up front, as Paraguay is a team that knows how to defend deep.