Saturday, July 13, 2024

Prediction: Paraguay vs Brazil

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 27 Jun 2024

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Verdict: Total Brazil goals over 1.5

Best odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

After a frustrating start to their Copa America campaign, Brazil return to action on Friday, facing Paraguay in a crucial Group D clash at Allegiant Stadium.

The Selecao were held to a 0-0 draw by Costa Rica in their opener, while Paraguay couldn’t complete a comeback and suffered a 2-1 defeat to Colombia on matchday one.

Paraguay

The opening half-hour against Colombia was initially promising for Paraguay, as Daniel Garnero’s side effectively frustrated their opponents with a compact, low block. However, the game’s dynamics shifted when Daniel Munoz scored in the 32nd minute, forcing Garnero to alter his tactics and leaving Paraguay needing goals to overturn the deficit.

Historically, La Albirroja have struggled to recover once they fall behind, losing 18 consecutive matches after conceding the first goal. Furthermore, Paraguay have been unable to overturn a halftime deficit in their last three Copa America fixtures, two of which ended in 90-minute defeats.

On a more positive note, Paraguay have demonstrated resilience following a loss, managing to secure a clean sheet immediately after a defeat in their last three instances. They have also avoided consecutive regular-time defeats in the Copa America since 2016, when a narrow 2-1 loss to Colombia was followed by a 1-0 defeat against the USA.

Team News

Two Paraguayan players are walking a suspension tightrope ahead of their clash with Brazil: Gustavo Velazquez and Andres Cubas. Both are at risk of missing the final group match if they receive a caution on Friday.

Rodrigo Morinigo was given his first start in goal for Paraguay, replacing Carlos Coronel, while Damian Bobadilla earned his second senior cap.

Julio Enciso, who netted the lone goal on matchday one, marked his first international goal for the national team, adding to his growing credentials as a striker for Brighton and Hove Albion.

Brazil

The most intriguing surprise on matchday one occurred at SoFi Stadium in California, where Brazil failed to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities.

Despite Dorival Junior’s team dominating Costa Rica in nearly every statistical category – possession (74%), expected goals (1.66 to 0.03), and actions in the opponent’s area (49 to two) – they fell short on the scoresheet. This outcome marked Brazil’s second consecutive failure to score in Copa America matches, stretching back to their 1-0 loss to Argentina in the 2021 final.

Eight years ago, Brazil found themselves in a similar situation and responded resoundingly, following a 0-0 draw with Ecuador in their opener by thrashing Haiti 7-1. While they last exited the tournament in the group stage in 2016, the Selecao have not dropped points in consecutive group fixtures since 2015.

Brazil have not lost a Copa America match to Paraguay in 90 minutes since the 2004 group stage (2-1). However, Paraguay beat Brazil in two of their previous three Copa America encounters, both on penalties in 2011 and 2015.

Team News

In Brazil’s starting XI on Monday, there were two changes from their friendly against the United States: Guilherme Arana replaced Wendell at left-back, and Eder Militao was preferred over Lucas Beraldo at centre-back.

Douglas Luiz was absent for the first time since the 2-0 loss to Uruguay in October, while Endrick and Savio came on as substitutes. Savio, who has scored three goals in his last five appearances, is now pushing for a starting spot.

Marquinhos had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside in the opener, and Alisson recorded his first clean sheet with Brazil since their win over Switzerland at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Conclusion

The Costa Rica draw is likely to prove an extra motive for Brazil to show their immense attacking talent against Paraguay, and consecutive matches without the Selecao scoring will probably be too much for Paraguay to hope for.

Verdict: Total Brazil goals over 1.5

Best odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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