Brazil vs Paraguay: Brazil to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 – Evens
Brazil finally clicked into gear with a 5-0 demolition of Peru in their final group game.
The hosts had been entirely unconvincing against Venezuela and Bolivia previously, copping a lot of flak from a critical home following in the process, but they put those issues to bed with an assured display.
The quarter-final draw has been kind to them, and they should have little problems disposing of Paraguay.
Such is the problem with having such a small tournament, that a number of inferior teams make it through the group stages simply to make up the numbers. The fact that eight out of 12 teams progress to the quarter-finals makes it absurdly easy to reach the knockout stages, as Paraguay have showcased.
Two draws and a defeat proved enough for them to progress as one of the best third-placed teams.
It’s unbelievable that just two points was deemed worthy to progress to the last eight of a major international competition. The disparity between the two sides is tangible, and there’s virtually no chance of an upset.
Brazil are yet to concede a goal in the tournament or even look remotely close to doing so.
Paraguay, meanwhile, proved difficult to beat against heavyweights Colombia and Argentina. Similar to Bolivia and Venezuela, they will attempt to keep Brazil scoreless for as long as possible in the hope that they can sneak a winner.
Odds are that won’t happen and that Brazil will eventually prevail.
Venezuela vs Argentina: Correct score 0-0 – 8/1
There is no other way to describe it; Argentina have stumbled into the knockout stages. A less than convincing win against South American stronghold Qatar was the sole reason they made the last eight and prospects of them winning silverware are quite low.
Venezuela, on the other hand, rode their luck enormously to take second place in Group A. In total, the Venezuelans conceded five times against Brazil and Peru, but saw none of the goals stood thanks to VAR.
They were particularly fortunate not to concede an 88th-minute winner to Philippe Coutinho with the goal chalked off for Roberto Firmino’s minimal contact with that ball as it made its way into the back of the net.
Venezuela were hemmed in by both Peru and Brazil, but clung on desperately to salvage two scoreless draws, before a final day win over Bolivia saw them leapfrog Peru into second place.
They have certainly not been inspiring at the Copa America, but you can rest assured that this limited Argentinian team will have serious problems breaking them down.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Venezuela record another 0-0 here and take the game to penalties.
* All odds correct at time of posting.