Copa America: Our 15/1 treble on a trio of tidy fixtures

Chile-Japan, Bolivia-Peru and Brazil-Venezuela are under the spotlight in our treble across Tuesday and Wednesday

Philippe Coutinho


Chile v Japan, Tuesday 00:00

Ah the classic geographical rivalry between the South American nations of Chile and Japan. Also known as the countries who spell their name with five letters derby, Chile versus Japan is the pinnacle of international rivalry.

All joking aside, reigning champions Chile will be looking to get their campaign off to a winning start against a Japan team that were shocked by Qatar in the final of the Asian Cup earlier in the year. However, as Japan proved in last year’s World Cup, they are no mugs.

A group win over Colombia, largely thanks to Carlos Sanchez’s third minute red card, paved the way for their qualification for the knockout stages in Russia where they gave semi-finalists Belgium an almighty fright.

Chile, on the other hand, have had a forgetful few years since they beat Argentina in the Copa America final for the second year in a row. First, they infamously failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup before enduring a run of friendly results steeped in mediocrity.

Wins against Haiti and Honduras are the only victories in their last five games and it is hard to gauge what level they are currently at. In a tricky group, however, they will look at this game as the most winnable one and will look to get off to a fast start.

Prospects of them winning a third Copa in a row are low, but they should get the three points on Tuesday.

Pick: Chile halftime/fulltime – 13/10

Bolivia v Peru, Tuesday 22:30

Peru were desperately unlucky not to come away with a win against Venezuela in their group opener. Two goals disallowed for offside, as well as hitting the post and having a shot cleared off the line, meant that they had to settle for a point in their most crucial game which is by no means disastrous.

A draw against Venezuela means that a win against Bolivia would virtually guarantee Peru a spot in the last eight. With two of the third placed teams progressing, it would be unthinkable that four points wouldn’t be enough to at least ensure them qualification via third place.

A big win could even set them up for a second placed finish. Both sides will be expecting to lose to hosts Brazil and beat Bolivia, so goal difference will be key. Finishing second will likely see them play Argentina – a side in disarray that Peru have more than held their own against recently.

The Bolivians battled gamely in the first half against Brazil, but were blatantly outmatched from the offset and once Philippe Coutinho put Brazil ahead, there was no doubting the result. Peru will look to come away with a similar result.

For Peru, winning handsomely is imperative and that should see them beat the handicap.

Pick: Peru (-1) @ 6/4

Ricardo Gareca Peru

Brazil v Venezuela, Wednesday 01:30

Despite a sluggish opening half, Brazil looked like they meant business against Bolivia and there was never any chance of an upset. Venezuela, meanwhile, dug in against Peru and held on for a valuable point. The clash of styles is clear, and it seems likely that we will witness more of the same from both sides; Brazil doing all the probing and Venezuela clinging on for what would be a huge result.

At 1/6, Brazil are unbackable favourites, but the goalscoring markets are quite enticing. In the absence of Neymar, Brazil are in need of a talisman to step up and lead them to glory because, whatever you think about Neymar, he has a phenomenal record for Brazil.

Philippe Coutinho, free from the pressure of Barcelona, seems to finally be flourishing again. He was the spark that got Brazil going against Bolivia and has stepped into the void left by Neymar. As Brazil’s set piece taker in-chief, Coutinho will always have a decent chance of finding the net and his new role as the country’s creative outlet only increases those chances.

Pick: Philippe Coutinho to score anytime – 7/4

Odds correct at time of posting but subject to change.

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