The Estadio Morumbi is set to host a clash between Colombia and Qatar on Wednesday, with plenty on the line for both teams. Colombia will definitely be the more confident of the two going into this one having earned a crucial three points last time out versus Argentina, netting twice in the second half to put them at the top of the Group B standings after matchday one. Qatar played out a stalemate with Paraguay in their first Copa America outing and currently hold third position with an equal goal difference, with Argentina one spot below in fourth and bottom of the pile.
Carlos Queiroz will be very pleased with his teams beginning to the Copa America of 2019, defeating Argentina will relative ease by two goals to nil. Prior to that match though, they were in equally impressive form. Against Panama at the very start of June, Colombia saw off their opponents 3-0 through strikes from William Tesillo, Luis Muriel and Radamel Falcao, and when they made the trip to Peru it was Mateus Uribe who helped his side to a 3-0 victory yet again with a brace. In spite of these brilliant displays, not many pundits could have expected the Colombian defence to hold out against an angry Lionel Messi. However, they did just that, with the maestro unable to fashion much of any note and his teammates struggling to gather any momentum within what was quite a monotonous affair. Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata bagged one goal each with under twenty minutes left to seal maximum points which has put them in good stead ahead of the remainder of the group stage.
Little is known of Qatar by most of the footballing world, with Asian football not televised or advertised to any great amount in the western part of the globe. Therefore, it came as something of a surprise to see that they not only hit the net twice versus Paraguay, but they actually managed to earn a well deserved point. In February, Qatar beat Japan in the Asian Cup final by three goals to one and put their name on the map in terms of winning international silverware, which is a feat they look to be aiming for in this tournament. A 2-0 defeat to Brazil was overshadowed by the injury to superstar Neymar, but nothing can take away from the fact that they held the hosts of this year’s competition to just two goals, both of which were scored in the opening 25 minutes. After going down two goals against Paraguay and with the clock ticking down it certainly looked as though Qatar were on the verge of missing out on earning any points, but a goal from Almoez Ali and an own goal by Rodrigo Rojas took a solid point from the Maracana.
Although they prepared for the Copa America in a 4-3-3 formation, Colombia changed their line up to a 4-2-3-1 in the opener versus Argentina, to the surprise of most onlookers.Here, it is expected that they will begin much the same with Wilmar Barrios sitting in a deep midfield role and James Rodriguez accompanying Juan Cuadrado as attackers, while Falcao leads the line as usual in the number nine spot. If Barrios does not recover from his knee injury properly in time for this game, he the manager may be forced into a decision which could force the team to revert back to a 4-3-3. Other than that, Luis Muriel is the only player that is certain to miss out.
Qatar don’t appear to have any injury concerns going into this one which will be a major boost for Felix Sanchez and his men. Unsurprisingly, they have opted for a more defensive setup with four at the back and midfield, leaving just one striker and one attacking midfielder against Paraguay. When they faced Brazil, they went one step further and utilized a 5-3-2 formation, and despite the loss they showed some of the talent possessed by the squad. It looks as though Qatar will again look to go for four at the back, however it is unclear whether they will allow more freedom for their attacking individuals.
Qatar have proven themselves worthy contenders in the Copa America this year, however beating Colombia might just be a step too far for the Asian Cup winners. They’re not shy of a goal and can certainly attack when given the opportunity to do so, which we think will happen quite often due to the open nature of Colombia’s style of play. For these reasons, we are going for Colombia to win and BTTS at 13/5 with Bet365. The margin of victory is difficult to predict, but with Falcao firing and a fully fit James Rodriguez who’ll be eager to impress potential suitors this summer, a 3-1 result appears the most likely outcome. Bet365 have that scoreline at 12/1, and the bookmaker also have Colombia to win by two clear goals at 3/1. These are both bets that we’ll certainly be taking a punt on come Wednesday.
Colombia win and BTTS at 13/5
Colombia win 3-1 at 13/5
Colombia win by two clear goals at 3/1