Monday, July 15, 2024

Prediction: Uruguay vs Brazil

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 6 Jul 2024

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Verdict: Uruguay win

Best odds: 177/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

A heavyweight South American showdown takes center stage at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, as Uruguay clash with Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Copa America.

The winners of this eagerly awaited contest will meet either Colombia or Panama in the semifinals.

Uruguay

Uruguay have arguably been the standout performers at the Copa America so far this summer after winning three games out of three by an aggregate score of 9-1 to secure top spot in Group C.

La Celeste kick-started the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Panama before putting Bolivia to the sword 5-0 on matchday two; they then preserved their perfect record by beating the USA 1-0 on Tuesday courtesy of a 66th-minute strike from Mathias Olivera.

Marcelo Bielsa was banned from the touchline as Uruguay eliminated the host nation, but he will have taken plenty of positives from his side’s impressive group-stage display. The 68-year-old has now won 10 of his 15 games in charge of Uruguay since taking the reins in May last year.

Only holders Argentina have won as many Copa America titles as Uruguay (15), who are bidding to become South American champions for the first time since 2011. La Celeste have progressed to the quarterfinals in three of the last four Copa America tournaments, but on each occasion, they have been knocked out, losing to Chile (2015), Peru (2019), and Colombia (2021).

Uruguay have shown that they have the credentials to go all the way this year, though, and can be optimistic of success on Sunday as they secured a 2-0 victory over Brazil in their last competitive meeting in the 2026 World Cup qualifying in October last year.

Team News

Uruguay could be without attacker Maximiliano Araujo, who was stretchered off wearing a neck brace following a collision in their win over the USA.

Cristian Olivera, who replaced Araujo during the match, is the most likely candidate to start on Sunday, joining Facundo Pellistri, Nicolas de la Cruz, and Darwin Nunez in attack.

Bielsa is expected to stick with the rest of his starting XI, featuring Federico Valverde and Manuel Ugarte in midfield, while Nahitan Nandez, Ronald Araujo, Mathias Olivera, and Matias Vina form the back line.

Brazil

Brazil have reached the knockout rounds of the Copa America for the third consecutive tournament, but they missed out on securing top spot in Group D after being held to a 1-1 draw by Colombia, who progressed as group winners, on Wednesday.

The Selecao started strong with Raphinha scoring a superb free kick in the 12th minute. However, Daniel Munoz equalized for Colombia in first-half stoppage time. Despite their efforts, Brazil managed only three shots on target as Colombia held firm in defence.

Head coach Dorival Junior expressed frustration, claiming Brazil were significantly impacted by officials’ decisions not to award them a penalty. The draw was one of two in the group stage for Brazil, following a goalless stalemate with Costa Rica in their opener before a 4-1 victory over Paraguay.

Under Dorival’s tenure since January, Brazil remain unbeaten but have drawn four of their seven matches. They are eager to regain momentum as they aim for a third consecutive Copa America semi-final appearance.

Having lost in the 2021 Copa America final, Brazil now seeks to clinch their 10th South American title. Their next challenge is an in-form Uruguay, a team they have defeated nine times in their last 13 meetings across various competitions, scoring at least twice in eight of those matches.

Team News

Brazil will have to ‘learn to play’ without Vinicius Junior, according to Dorival, as the Real Madrid attacker is serving a one-match suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The absence of Vinicius could open the door for 17-year-old Endrick to start up front, allowing Rodrygo to move onto either flank while Raphinha, Savio, Gabriel Martinelli and Pepe all battle for the final spot in attack.

Left-back Guilherme Arana will be looking to force his way back into the starting lineup at the expense of Wendell, while Douglas Luiz, Andreas Pereira and Ederson are all pushing to start in centre-midfield ahead of Joao Gomes.

Conclusion

An entertaining, end-to-end contest could indeed be in store, especially considering that eight of the last 10 meetings between Brazil and Uruguay have seen at least three goals each.

Brazil, who have not hit top form so far and will be missing Vinicius Junior, face a Uruguay side with positive momentum. This could set the stage for a potential upset in Las Vegas, with Uruguay possibly advancing to the semifinals.

Verdict: Uruguay win

Best odds: 177/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

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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