GROUP B comes to a close on Saturday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the best bets available for Uruguay’s crunch clash with Paraguay.
Uruguay v Paraguay | Saturday 20.00 | Premier Sports
A point will prove enough to secure progression to the Copa America quarter-finals for Paraguay on Saturday night in La Serena following their 1-0 victory over Jamaica and Ramon Diaz’s resolute side could prove a tough cookie to crumble for a misfiring Uruguay side.
The defending champions suffered a 1-0 loss to tournament favourites Argentina last time out – meaning three of the four matches in this group have finished 1-0 – and a similarly tight, low scoring match looks to be on the cards here. T
he two nations are built around a solid spine and compact defensive line. Both teams prefer to play on the counter and are happiest when their opponents take the initiative. With that in mind, it should pay to oppose goals in what could be a nip and tuck encounter.
Both Uruguay’s matches have finished with just a solitary goal deciding the fixture and with Luis Suarez absent, the Celeste are lacking the x-factor that their all-time top goalscorer brings to the table. Edinson Cavani has failed to make the impact he’d have hoped in the central striking position whilst Diego Rolan has proven wasteful when presented with gilt-edged opportunities.
Paraguay are led by veteran centre forward Roque Santa Cruz and often adopt a safety-first approach to frustrate their opposition but Diaz’s men have been clinical in the final third so far in the Copa. Goals tend to be hard to come by in Paraguay matches and knowing they don’t have to go all out for maximum points should mean we see the side sit deep, patiently waiting for their chance to spring forward.
The Copa tends to bring out the best in Paraguay – as four years ago, the nation are relishing their underdog role, frustrating opponents before pinching a winner when venturing forward. Neither side has scored more than two goals in a Paraguay game in their last 15 outings and it’s also worth noting that nine of their previous 13 tournament matches have featured fewer than three goals – seven producing fewer than two with nine draws.
Uruguay have never been the most aesthetically pleasing team and Oscar Tabarez’s troops have now scored two goals or fewer in six of their last seven competitive fixtures. However, the Celeste do boast a formidable centre-half partnership and are well capable of adding another clean sheet to their tally even without captain Diego Godin.
The head-to-head stats also point towards a low-scoring tie. Five of the last six meetings between the two teams have produced Under 2.5 Goals with the Copa final four years ago the only exception. So with BetVictor offering 39/40 on Under 2 Goals in the Asian Goals line, I’m keen to get involved.
With this selection, we’ll get our cash back should exactly two goals be netted in La Serena. But if the showdown features zero or one goal, we’ll have ourselves a winner. The only way in which this bet will lose is if the match produces three goals or more. And just for a slice of interest, I’m going to also have a stab at the 15/2 from Betway on the 0-0 correct score.
Uruguay v Paraguay – Under 2 Goals on the Asian Goals line (39/40 BetVictor)
Uruguay v Paraguay – 0-0 correct score (15/2 Betway)
Bet £20, Get £10 Free Bet In:Play With Paddy Power
Here’s a nice wee offer from Paddy Power. Place £20 or more in single bets before kick-off on this match and the Irish firm will give you a £10 free bet to use in:play on the same fixture.
All they ask is your qualifying bets to be placed at 1/2 or higher. Not bad, eh?