GROUP B at the Copa America continues on Wednesday night as Colombia take on Qatar in Sao Paolo. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his betting thoughts.
Colombia v Qatar | Wednesday 19th June 2019, 22:30 | Premier Sports
Both of these two sides have had decent enough starts to the Copa America.
Colombia were deserving victors against Argentina in Salvador on Saturday, winning 2-0. Roger Martinez came on to replace the injured Luis Muriel and he scored the opener with a cracking strike cutting in from the wing. Los Cafeteros then exposed the gaps left by La Albiceleste in the second half and Duvan Zapata smashed home from six yards out.
As much as Argentina were poor, Colombia dealt with every attack superbly. Centre-halves and Premier League duo Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez won every header and kept decent chances to a premium; Carlos Quieroz's team were typically aggressive in midfield, which frustrated Argentina.
Qatar came from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Paraguay on Sunday and it looked a deserved point. Al-Annabi had the lion's share of the ball and a greater pass completion rate, surprisingly too (despite their lack of height), won more aerial duels than La Albirroja. Qatar'd build up play was neat and their patience paid off in the end; Paraguay gaffer Eduardo Berizzo said post-match how impressed he was with Qatar’s technical ability and I’d imagine a lot of managers will be saying similar in years to come.
That early Oscar Cardozo penalty meant the game had to open up. Many were expecting a tight and trappy affair but that storyline was binned with the almost instantaneous goal, which was great for the viewers as it made for a more entertaining match up. However, it was a bit of an outlier for Qatar as most of their games are relatively low-scoring. Only two of their last eight games have seen both sides score.
The betting angle
Colombia are fair favourites here though – it's a big step up in class for Qatar from Paraguay and the odds reflect that. For all their stellar attacking names, Colombia have been strong at the back, keeping clean sheets in six of their last eight – they’ve arrived against decent teams too with Argentina, Poland, Senegal, Peru and Japan all being blanked against Los Cafeteros.
You’d think that defensive resolve will be something that will carry on under new boss Querioz. He showed how well he could get Iran organised at the World Cup and liked to build on a solid backline shape, and will set-up stoutly out of possession.
All in all, I think Colombia will have too much for the Asian champions but instead of backing the 4/9 quotes, I’ll enhance the offering to a handsome even-money shot by chucking in Under 3.5 Goals (Coral). All six of Los Cafeteros’ last six wins have seen this selection pay-out and given Qatar’s competitive ability, I’m not expecting a whitewash.
Colombia v Qatar – Colombia to win and Under 3.5 Goals (1/1 Coral)