The Estadio Maracana will host a meeting between Paraguay and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar on Sunday night as their pair duel in the Copa America for the first time ever. Some may be surprised to see Qatar competing in the tournament as the country is geographically placed in Asia, but in order for the Copa America to have the required amount of teams in the competition they are forced to invite countries from other federations, providing Qatar with a real chance to put some of their talents on display three years before they host one themselves.
Paraguay vs Qatar Match Preview
Unfortunately for Paraguay, their preparation for this summer’s Copa America has not quite gone according to plan. In the five matches leading up to the tournament, they were put to the sword twice by Peru and Mexico, held to a draw versus Honduras and South Africa, while their sole victory in that time came three days after their stalemate with the Hondurans where they ran out 2-0 victors one week prior to the opening of the Copa America against Guatemala. Manager Eduardo Berizzo will have been buoyed by that performance, however the displays against Mexico and Peru particularly won’t have pleased him to any extent whatsoever. The affair with Mexico was a true disaster, going three goals down within 25 minutes and Miguel Almiron receiving a red card with half an hour remaining. They arrive in Brazil hoping this is their year, but what a task it will be.
Qatar’s inclusion in the 2019 Copa America was somewhat surprising given the unknown qualities their team possesses and how little the majority of the western world has seen of their footballing talent. They were invited alongside fellow Asian Cup finalists Japan and will be desperate to display everything they’ve got to offer in this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Asian Cup victory over the Japanese in February was a fantastic achievement and should not be underestimated, however a 2-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Brazil was something of a reality check for any players whose ego was getting the better of them. Fixtures against Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina will provide the team with a stern test of what they can expect in 2022, and with nobody expecting them to come away with anything other than a bottom of the table finish they might just surprise some people.
Paraguay vs Qatar Team News
In the final two warm up games prior to the Copa America, Paraguay began with a 4-3-3 formation versus Honduras and Guatemala, from which they earned a win and a draw, scoring in both matches. Oscar Cardozo started in the number nine role, with two attacker beside him and three midfielders supplying the ball to the forwards. It is uncertain whether Alfredo Aguilar or Roberto Fernandez will line up as goalkeeper, we will have to wait and see for that one. Miguel Almiron should be fit for this one after returning from injury, and there are no other injury concerns for Paraguay ahead of this clash.
Qatar appear to enjoy putting most players behind the ball and creating a wall for attackers to attempt to get through, with 5-3-2 being their preferred formation recently. Against Japan in the Asian Cup final this worked to their benefit as they won 3-1, and when playing Brazil it worked quite well too, preventing their opponents from netting any more than two goals on the night so we expect similar formation here. There looks to be no injury worries on that front for Qatar.
Reasons for Paraguay vs Qatar Betting Tips
Due to Paraguay’s inability to score many goals and Qatar’s style of putting every man in defense other than the forwards, it is difficult to see many goals in this matchup. For that reason, we think 6/4 for under 1.5 goals with Skybet is a great bet to add to your betslip. Paraguay are the clear favourites heading into this one with the side at 4/6 to win with Skybet, however it is Skybet’s price of 7/2 for Paraguay to win and both teams not to score that we’ll be taking a punt on. The South Americans should be too much for the Asian outfit and we expect their quality to shine through despite disappointing displays in the lead up to the tournament.
Another handy offer from Skybet is Paraguay to win to nil at 5/4, which is exactly what they did against Guatemala in their final preparation match with Guatemala last weekend. Qatar will likely find Paraguay too much too handle, especially with Cardozo up front, so we can’t see much exciting happening from their end.
Under 1.5 goals at 6/4
Paraguay to win and both teams not to score at 7/2
Paraguay to win to nil at 5/4