Brazil Cannot Rely on Home Advantage

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Hosts Brazil are facing stiffer tests to come at the Copa America

Neyamer will be hoping to inspire Brazil to glory.

Home advantage has often been a huge help at the Copa America and Brazil have hit the ground running this summer with three consecutive victories to nail down top spot in Group B with one game to spare.

The Selecao are 5/8 to lift the trophy and are on collision course for a potential final against bitter rivals Argentina, who will clinch top spot in Group A if they can defeat Bolivia on Monday.

Argentina had been set to co-host the tournament with Colombia before the coronavirus pandemic forced a late change of plan and they are 3/1 to emerge victorious.

Don’t Bank on Brazil

Brazil have sailed through the group stage, but it will be interesting to see how they cope in the knockout stages, when the competition hots up.

The absence of fans reduces the benefit of home advantage and Brazil were made to work hard in their third group stage match when they needed an injury-time Casemiro goal to seal a 2-1 success over Colombia.

It is also impossible to rule out Uruguay, who are 9/1 for glory after clinching a quarter-final berth with Thursday’s 2-0 success over Bolivia.

They started slowly with a 1-0 loss to Argentina, but could be a tough nut to crack in the knockouts thanks to their strong defence and the ever-present threats of evergreen strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Uruguay could go close, but Argentina look the more solid option for those seeking to oppose the host nation.

The Albiceleste have eased their way into the tournament – following up a 1-1 draw with Chile with 1-0 victories over Uruguay and Paraguay – and look decent value to go all the way.

Expect Venezuela to Make Their Point

Venezuela have taken just two points from their opening three Group B games, but they may only need one more point to secure a place in the knockout stages and can get it against Peru on Sunday in Brasilia.

The tournament could not have got off to a worse start for Venezuela, who had 13 players test positive for COVID-19 before their opening match against Brazil which they lost 3-0.

However, the Vinotinto have responded well – digging out draws against Colombia (0-0) and Ecuador (2-2) – and they know that a further point would be enough for fourth place as long as Ecuador are defeated by Brazil in Goiania.

Peru need another point to guarantee further progress and the potential value of the stalemate for both teams is enough to warrant a punt on the draw at 37/20.

Goals are on the Cards in Rio

There have been a lot of low-scoring games in Group A, with seven of eight featuring fewer than three goals, but there could be more excitement when Uruguay take on Paraguay in Rio de Janeiro.

Both teams are through to the last eight, but there is a big incentive for fourth-placed Uruguay, who need a victory to nail down a top two finish and give themselves a better chance of a favourable draw.

Oscar Tabarez’s team are likely to be a little more adventurous than usual and that could afford extra space for Paraguay, who have notched five goals in their three games.

There should be plenty of action in both penalty boxes and over 2.5 goals looks attractively priced at 5/4.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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