MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at Brazil’s meeting with Paraguay in the Copa America quarter-finals.
Brazil v Paraguay | Saturday 22.30 | Premier Sports
Copa America’s Group C winners Brazil meet Paraguay in what could be a potential banana-skin for the five-times World Cup champions. The Samba Boys collected six points in their pool – their loss to Colombia hitting the headlines with star man and skipper Neymar’s antics seeing the Barcelona man now suspended for the remainder of the tournament.
Brazil did beat Venezuela without Neymar but now we enter the knockout stages, Dunga’s men may struggle in 90 minutes with penalties looming. Worryingly for the Selecao, they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet at the 2015 edition of the Copa despite playing with two defensive minded midfielders in Elias and Fernandinho.
With a creaking backline and a forward-line that’s not scored more than twice in any of their last six, Brazil now come up against one of the most resilient and tough to beat sides in South America with Paraguay ready to upset the odds.
Four years ago La Albirroja reached the final without winning a game and we should expect a similarly dogged approach from the current crop under Ramon Diaz.
Paraguay exceeded expectations by beating Uruguay to second-place in Group B, largely thanks to the draw they picked up against Argentina despite being 2-0 down and outplayed for most of the opening hour. The 1-1 draw against the Uruguayans in their final group game was good enough to pocket second spot – again, a firm rear-guard performance and clinical finishing proved plenty.
But La Albirroja are unlikely to get the job done in 90 minutes. Paraguay have won just four of their past 22 matches – beating Jamaica, Peru, Cameroon and Bolivia – and they’ve not won a knockout match at a major tournament in the past 25 years. They’ve scored just three goals in their 13 knockout matches in this time but have managed to draw six of the games and they’ll take comfort from their recent record against Brazil of just two defeats in their last eight meetings including knocking Brazil out on penalties at this stage four years ago.
In fact, many believed the current Paraguay squad to be the worst the nation has produced in at least 20 years but Diaz has worked wonders to rally the troops and the squad are singing from the same hymn sheet. They sure don’t have the quality to go head-to-head with their more illustrious opponents but their spoiling tactics could well make this a tense night for Samba Boys supporters.
I’m happy to have another play on a low-scoring encounter with William Hill’s 2/1 on Under 1.5 Goals standing out. Two of the first three last eight games have followed a similar pattern and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if this one followed suit.
Brazil v Paraguay – Under 1.5 Goals (2/1 William Hill)
Want TWO Free Bets And £10 Cash?
We’ll then arrange for TWO free bets to be dropped into your betting accounts and we’ll also cover your first bet with instant cash up to £10.
Remember folks, if you ever want to join a new bookmaker give us a shout – no other site will give you extra bonuses such as free bets and instant cash like WLB!
How To Claim Your Free Bet And Instant Cash:
- Register for a new account at Ladbrokes, Marathon, Bet365, 888 or BetVictor via any of the links on this page. If you don’t use a link from WLB, you won’t be valid.
- Deposit and place your first bet (minimum £10).
- Email [email protected] to let us know your account username, the bet you placed and the bookmaker you’ve joined.
- We’ll arrange for TWO £10 free bets to be dropped into your betting accounts as well as £10 instant cash to cover your first bet.
- Remember, you’ll also be entitled to the new customer bonus or promotion with each of Ladbrokes, Marathon, Bet365, 888 or BetVictor too. However, if you don’t join via the links on this page, you won’t be valid for our free bet and instant cash giveaway.
- Free bet crediting can take up to 28 days.
- Any questions? Just drop us an email or tweet us at @WeLoveBettingUK.
|Get treble the odds on your first bet when you sign-up at 888Sport|
|Claim up to £200 in bonuses when you join Bet365|
|Claim a £50 Welcome Bonus when you join Ladbrokes. Use code 'F50'|