THE second semi-final from the 2019 Copa America takes place in Porto Alegre on Wednesday night as neighbours Chile take on Peru. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his betting thoughts.
Chile v Chile | Thursday 4th July 2019, 01:30 | Premier Sports
The second of the Copa America semi-finals takes place in the early hours of Thursday morning and represents a great chance for both Chile and Peru to reach the showpiece final.
The way this tournament is set up, it often forgives teams that’s don’t necessarily get many victories. We saw this with Paraguay a few years back and it’s been a similar tale this time with Peru. Los Incas have won just once in 90 minutes and that was a come-from-behind victory against arguably the worst side in the competition in Bolivia.
Remove that match and Peru have not even scored in 90 minutes, yet they’re a game away from the final? Strange, but ultimately gaffer Ricardo Gareca has taken the understandable defensive approach, and it has been successful thus far.
The protection offered by holding midfielders Yoshimar Yotun and Renato Tapia has been strong and it’s been hard for sides to break down this stubborn Peru side. Going forward they have been lacking, but that’s simply down to the game plan; they’ll happily sit in a rigid formation and take the pressure on. It’s a far cry from the enterprising style they came to the World Cup with last year.
One thing the Lima lads can’t rely on in this semi is a draw going straight to penalties. At this stage, extra-time is introduced and who knows, if that was the case in the quarters against Uruguay they might have been dumped out.
Low goals line
Given the low penchant for goals in Peru games, it’s no wonder that the goal line is set at a flat two and is still favouring the Unders. Chile too have seen their last two games feature just a single goal, which will favour a low-scoring tie.
However, the last five meetings between these two fierce rivals have all seen at least three goals scored. Therefore, history-based backers may see standout value in the 13/8 (Betfair) on Over 2.5 Goals.
Having said that, this is a semi-final and we’ve seen these knockout games be extremely cagey affairs so I’ll swerve the goals market.
Chile fair favs
In the 1X2 market we have Chile as 10/11 favourites and Peru at a chunky 14/5 with the draw trading at a fair 9/4. La Roja are deserving favs here – they’ve proven the doubters (myself included) wrong and a lot of credit has to go to gaffer Reinaldo Rueda.
Rueda has tweaked his ageing squad with a couple of fresh faces; Guillermo Maripan has carried on his fine form from a solid season with Alaves into this competition. Comfortable with the ball at his feet, and strong in the air due to his height, it’s given more presence to that small La Roka backline.
Meanwhile, Erick Pulgar has been drafted in and the Bologna man has arguably been their best player in this tournament. He’s dynamic and just as good at the defensive side of the game as the attacking. Elsewhere, Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas are enjoying somewhat of an Indian summer with both getting on the scoresheet a few times.
Player-by-player this side are better than Peru and have been the more impressive side in this competition but I think the bookies have them just about right at a shade of odds-on, but given the magnitude of the game the draw is always a runner so I will swerve Chile too. Should they drift out closer to kick-off they could appeal if they get to around the 6/5 mark. Peru have seen a lot of late money come for them in their games so it’s a feasible scenario.
Play your cards right
Instead, I’ll have my main play in the cards market. There’s a real rivalry between these two, with three red cards being shown in the last five meetings. The two countries do border each other and this tie is often dubbed the Clasico del Pacifico.
It’s a long-standing hatred that sparked back into life recently in 2015 after a World Cup qualifying match that Chile won 4-3. Chilean players and officials vandalised the dressing room in Lima with graffiti that read “Respeto. Por aqui paso el campion America” making their recent 2015 Copa America victory live in the memory of their fierce rivals.
Chile were later left red-faced as they failed to qualify for Russia 2018, they bitterly accused Colombia and Peru of collusion in making this happen. They went legal and their approach was subsequently turned down by FIFA. Peru then defeated New Zealand in a play-off to secure a place at the World Cup which saw them get their own back and inevitably rile Chile with expected abuse.
This is the first meeting between the pair since then and given the occasion, the natural aggressive approach in Latin footballing nations, the rivalry, and the precedence of recent shenanigans I’m expecting a feisty encounter.
The 3/4 available from using BetVictor’s Price It Up feature on both sides to receive Over 1.5 Cards looks a solid play and will be the main call here. I’m also going to have a punt on the 13/5 offered via the same feature with the same firm on both sides to collect Over 0.5 Cards in each half.
A big-priced double
Lastly, I’ll take a bigger priced double on two opposition players to be booked. By using Bet365’s BetBuilder we can garner a bulbous 40/1 on Chile’s Mauricio Isla and Peru’s Renato Tapia both to be carded.
When looking at these markets, the two areas on the pitch I look at are defensive midfield and full-back. Tapia holds fort in front of the defence for Peru, whilst Isla operates at right-back for Chile.
Isla used to play as a midfielder and I’m not convinced full back is his natural position, also given the fact Riera tends to operate in a 4-3-3 he sometimes fails to get requisite protection. What’s more, I’d expect Peru to play on the break and get the ball wide when doing so.
Feyenoord man Tapia is a big unit and he implements a physical game trying to break up play. With La Roja usually playing narrow he could get overrun. In addition to this both players have already been booked this tournament so have previous.
If I were to doing a staking plan on these it would be 60%, 30%, 10% on the three in chronological order.