Bolivia and Peru meet at the Estadio Maracana on Tuesday for their second outings of this summer’s Copa America in Brazil. Neither side will have been particularly pleased with their opening matches in Group A, with Bolivia on the receiving end of a 3-0 crushing from hosts Brazil and Peru playing out a rather dull stalemate with Venezuela on matchday one. Victory for both sides is absolutely vital as it could put them in with a real chance of qualifying for the next round, and depending on the result in the other fixture, Peru could actually go top of the table, however that looks unlikely. There’s so much on the line for the two teams here, and that should make this one an interesting watch.
Realistically, the best that Peru are hoping for here is one point. The lead up to this Copa America could not have gone worse having been beaten in the four preceding matches, failing to score in any of the encounters and not winning a single match since October last year. Against South Korea and Japan they were put to the sword by one goal to nil both times, and when they journeyed to France it was the World Cup champions who came out as victors thanks to strikes from Thomas Lemar and Antoine Griezmann. Despite all of the negativity surrounding their build up, Bolivia still came into the Copa America with hope and a dream that they could surprise everyone and beat the hosts. They were quickly woken from those dreams in the second half of the opening game as Philippe Coutinho slotted home a penalty ten minutes prior to the hour mark, and he doubled his tally for the day just three minutes later as Roberto Firmino lifted a terrific ball into the box for the former Liverpool man to nestle the ball into an open net. There are few positives to take from the match, but one of them is the fact that they held Brazil for forty-five minutes, and if they can do that, then surely Bolivia can get something against Peru, can’t they?
Peru’s preparation for the Copa America went more smoothly than that of their upcoming opponents, although it was not all smooth sailing with just two wins in the final five warm up fixtures. As the tournament got ever closer, Peru really began to struggle for impressive performances and were subsequently beaten by El Salvador on home soil in a truly embarrassing result as the visitors won by two goals to nil on the day. A sort of retribution was found nearly three months later against Costa Rica who they defeated by a solitary goal, however just three days afterwards Peru were humbled by one of the favourites to win gold, Colombia, with the game ending 3-0. Yoshimar Yotun got a red card in that outing, and Mateus Uribe and Duvan Zapata did the rest of the damage. Peru will ultimately be disheartened that they didn’t do more against a depleted Venezuela side which had Luis Del Pino sent off fifteen minutes from time, although the fact that they kept a clean sheet could prove crucial in the end.
Against France and Brazil Bolivia began with a 4-4-1-1 formation, which was used in an attempt to shut down their opponents attacking threat and create a blockade of sorts for the opposing forwards. This, of course, did not work as they intended for the entire ninety minutes in the two matches as they were beaten comfortably, but that’s not to say that there was nothing good to take from the affairs. Here, we can see them going more attacking against a side who they should have more of a chance against, although it would equally not come as a shock if they went for what they’re used to and lined up with the same formation again with Marcelo Moreno as a lone attacker and Raul Castro the only forward thinking midfielder.
The final two matches of Peru’s warm up for this tournament gave a real insight into what they were planning on doing against Venezuela in the first match of the campaign, as they began with 4-2-3-1 both times despite the result not always going their way. This is clearly something they have been working on and manager Ricardo Gareca wants to continue to make it better, so in this one we can only envision them using that same formation against Bolivia, perhaps to better effect than before.There are no concerns on the injury front for Peru.
Neither of these two have been scoring bucket-loads of goals as of late, in fact, that’s a massive understatement as the pair have not gotten amongst the goals in either of the previous two matches. Bolivia have not found the net in four, whereas Peru couldn’t break through the defensive lines of Colombia or Venezuela despite their best attempts. Peru are the better team of the two though, there is no question about that, and we’re going for Peru to win to nil at 6/5 with Skybet. It certainly won’t be a high scoring margin of victory though, so under 1.5 goals at 2/1 with Skybet doesn’t look like a bad bet at all and is one that we recommend due to the little threat their attackers pose to the respective back lines. This goes hand in hand with another solid bet from Skybet which is Peru to win by exactly one goal at 9/4, and that’s one definitely worth taking a punt on.
Peru win to nil @ 6/5
Under 1.5 goals @ 2/1
Peru win by exactly one goal @ 9/4