Brazil have limped into the last eight of the Copa America courtesy of 2-1 wins over Peru and Venezuela, with a first loss to Colombia since 1991 sandwiched between those narrow triumphs, leaving Dunga’s Selecao at a backable 7/10 ahead of their quarter-final clash with Paraguay.
The loss of talismanic forward Neymar, who headbutted Los Cafeteros goalscorer Jeison Murillo in the 1-0 defeat to Jose Pekerman’s side, has blunted a Canarinho attack that was hardly firing on all cylinders anyway.
Incoming Liverpool goal-getter Roberto Firmino put his hand up for further involvement with an important strike last time out, but with the likes of Shandong Luneng striker Diego Tardelli getting game-time in Chile, Dunga’s squad is hardly a fully-functional attacking force.
With that in mind, they could hardly have picked a tougher team to take on in this tournament than Paraguay, who have banked four clean sheets in their past nine Copa America fixtures, dating back to the beginning of their run to the final four years ago.
Ramon Diaz’s men were the only team to avoid defeat against Argentina in their mini-league, when Nelson Valdes and Lucas Barrios cancelled out Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi’s first-half salvo in a 2-2 draw, before seeing off Jamaica 1-0 and sharing the spoils with Uruguay to book their place in the knockouts as Group B runners-up.
Paraguay have proved themselves no pushovers so far in Chile, losing just one of their past nine Copa America matches and knocking out Brazil in 2011 along the way, so it may pay to swerve the win-draw-win markets in favour of a more focused bet.
Did You Know?
– Four of Brazil’s last six matches had Under 2.5 goals
– At least one team has failed to score in 10 of Brazil’s last 14 games
– 10 of Paraguay’s last 14 competitive matches had Under 2.5 goals
– Paraguay have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last 13 competitive games
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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