Peru v Brazil | Saturday 22nd June 2019, 20:00 | Premier Sports
I opposed Brazil to win the tournament outright and I’m more than happy with that following two group games. Having said that, I don’t necessarily think we should be quick to jump upon the negative bandwagon.
We’ve seen at this Copa America already that the lesser nations are more than capable of proving stubborn and frustrating against a superior opponent. Qatar versus Colombia being the latest example.
Nevertheless, on paper, Brazil should be beating Venezuela on home soil, so that was two points dropped. They arguably face their likely toughest opposition yet in the form of Peru in Sao Paulo, but do the dynamics change? This is the final group game and Peru should be going through at the very least as one of the best third-placed sides. Could they beat Brazil? Would a draw please them?
Venezuela need to get the job done over Bolivia in the other game, so you’d imagine they’ll be keeping tabs on that one. As for Brazil, they need a win, and a convincing performance to go alongside that.
Brazil lacking spark
Tite will surely consider a change of two to his Brazilian starting XI. They are perhaps lacking a spark at the moment, say one that a certain Neymar could have possibly provided. One thing they don’t lack is strength in depth, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Gremio winger Everton come into the reckoning. For all he can be frustrating at times, he is the closest thing they’ve got to a Neymar. Possibly Gabriel Jesus will be called upon as well.
They certainly cannot afford to take Peru lightly, and the 0-0 draw with Venezuela will ensure that they don’t. Peru also defeated Brazil in the last Copa America when sealing a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium. Still, Brazil have won four of the last five meetings, and Peru have won two twice in the last 19, although both did come in the Copa America.
For all that Brazil have not necessarily convinced so far, they are a team that are exceptionally difficult to beat. Their loss to Belgium at the World Cup was their first loss since a friendly setback to Argentina in June 2017. I did fear that they may struggle with the pressure of being the favourite at their home tournament and there are certainly signs of that. I still fully expect them to top this group, but Peru will cause them problems.
Let’s focus on Peru for a moment. I don’t think they’ve necessarily convinced in this tournament so far either. That is despite a very good four points from their first two. For all that they work hard, I do just feel they lack quality and they will come unstuck when they face the bigger and better footballing nations.
They’re incredibly frustrating in the final third and see to have a habit of making things harder for themselves. Bolivia are a team they should be beating, and they did, but they had to come from behind. I do think they’ll relish this as the underdog, something they won’t have had the chance to do in the first two games.
I do just fear if they try to take the game to Brazil then they’ll be carved open. This tournament has proved that there is still an art to getting bodies behind the ball and frustrating. Peru I’m not so sure will go that, not for the whole game anyway. They’ll want to get forward and Brazil are tough, for all that they may be lacking a bit in attack at present.
The betting angle
I do want to keep Brazil on side on this occasion. We cannot deny that they are a better team than Peru and have much, much better players. Things are never ever that straightforward of course, but they really need to start proving themselves as a likely candidate to lift the trophy on 7th July.
This will be a different game to their first two. However, I don’t necessarily think it will be emphatic. They’ve a habit of just getting the job done.
Brazil to win and Under 3.5 Goals is a handy 11/10 (Coral) chance to keep us interested in this one.
Only eight of Brazil’s last 42 games in all competitions has witnessed over three goals overall. If we go on Peru’s last 42 matches, only 10 have contained more than three goals.
The final group can is always a pressurised situation, especially as both teams have a shot at winning the group and potentially dropping to third spot, assuming Venezuela win. Peru will give Brazil respect, but they’ll fall to their quality eventually.
Brazil v Peru – Brazil to win and Under 3.5 Goals (11/10 Coral)