RANK outsiders, Bolivia aren’t expected to challenge for top honours but is there something stirring in the land of El Verde? Tim Vickery (@Tim_Vickery) and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talk you through their chances of success.
- Outright Winner: 100/1 (Bet365)
- Group A Winner: 25/1 (Bet365)
- Group A Top-Two Finish: 5/1 (BetVictor)
- Highest Scoring Team: 100/1 (SkyBet)
- Form Post-World Cup: W1-D1-L2
Tim Vickery’s View
Mark O’Haire’s View
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You do wonder whether Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote ever made its way to Bolivia. El Verde have used three different coaches in all three of their FIFA dates this season and the instability and lack of preparation time for confirmed boss Mauricio Soria is bound to have a negative effect on the Group A outsiders (25/1 Bet365).
Already rated as the weakest South American side in recent years, Bolivia’s last major international glory was arguably the 6-1 thrashing they dished out to Maradona’s Argentina in 2010. Before that? The 1997 Copa America that was hosted by Bolivia. Before that? Umm… 1994 World Cup qualification?
It’s been a miserable 20 odd years and following group-stage elimination in the past four Copa America’s where two thirds of the teams in the first phase qualify show just how crap they’ve been and it’s hard to find too many positives this time around.
Captain and experienced defensive stalwart Ronald Reldes is unlikely to win his battle against injury, further weakening the group that’s failed to keep a clean sheet in 29 competitive outings and it’s well known El Verde rarely threaten when playing away from their high altitude home in La Paz (winless on their travels since a 2007 friendly with South Africa).
Although there were a few promising signs in a creditable 2-2 draw away to Chile in October under Soria’s watch. The former international goalkeeper was minutes away from guiding the side to a famous friendly win with a backs-to-the-wall job and that dogged display has heartened the Bolivian public. And Soria’s certainly impressing back home with an eagerness to attack opposition sides, saying “I want to play attacking football and not just defend like we usually do, because we’ve lost a lot playing that way, so let’s attack to try and win.”
The appointment of Soira is most definitely a positive for El Verde – he’s guided three different clubs to the domestic title – but the fact he’ll have taken charge of one friendly fixture and a handful of training sessions before the end of May is a huge concern for the 100/1 (Bet365) Copa America rags. The aim will be to simply win a game or somehow sneak into the last eight but the reality is darker and another group-stage exit looms.
The View From The Inside
“Bolivia fans are pretty passive or surrendered to their fate. Coach Mauricio Soria is a controversial figure but a winner and he instils belief and discipline.
“They’ll be looking to win a game or get out of the group. Like everyone else, they will say their real concern is preparing for the qualifying campaign. The reality? They’ll be heading home after the group-stage.”
– Tim Venables (@Timuka)
- Bolivia vs Mexico | 13th June 2015 | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- Bolivia vs Ecuador | 15th June 2015 | 22.00 | Premier Sports
- Bolivia vs Chile | 20th June 2015 | 00.30 | Premier Sports
Bolivia Form & Stats
|Last 10 Competitive Games||W1-D5-L4||Last 20 Competitive Games||W2-D7-L11|
|0-0 Draw||0/10||0-0 Draw||0/20|
|Over 1.5 Goals||9/10||Over 1.5 Goals||17/20|
|Over 2.5 Goals||4/10||Over 2.5 Goals||7/20|
|Over 3.5 Goals||4/10||Over 3.5 Goals||6/20|
|Over 4.5 Goals||2/10||Over 4.5 Goals||3/20|
|Both Teams To Score||7/10||Both Teams To Score||12/20|
|Fail To Score||3/10||Fail To Score||8/20|
|Clean Sheet||0/10||Clean Sheet||0/20|
|HT Draw||5/10||HT Draw||10/20|
|Over 1.5 Team Goals||1/10||Over 1.5 Team Goals||3/20|
|Win + Both Teams To Score||1/10||Win + Both Teams To Score||2/20|
*All stats and form correct until 30 May 2015*