Copa America Final Picks

How our soccer expert sees the Copa America Final going
Graham Ruthven
Fri, July 5, 9:53 AM EDT

This summer’s Copa America hasn’t been a classic of the genre, but there have been a number of remarkable matches and there is room for one more. Peru were never expected to get this far, but here they are. Brazil have already thumped them once before in the group stages, but a lot has changed since then. Here are two tips for the 2019 Copa America final.

 

Brazil v Peru

Maracana, Sunday July 7

This is where Brazil wanted to be. They couldn’t make the most of being the hosts at the 2014 World Cup, but they have managed to harness the home support to make the final of this summer’s Copa America. The general feeling is that this generation of players needs a trophy to validate them as a Selecao side and they are just one game away from getting that validation and their hands on a piece of silverware for only the second time since 2007.

Of course, Brazil might not even be the main headline ahead of this match. Peru have pulled off a number of shocks, including a semi final win over defending champions Chile, to make it this far. They were thumped 5-0 by Brazil earlier in the tournament, but they have improved with every single performance since then. Brazil will come up against a different team.

Brazil haven’t conceded a goal at this year’s Copa America although they had their goal frame to thank for that record in the semi final against Argentina. While Lionel Messi and co. crashed out, losing 2-0 to their greatest rivals, they did show that it’s possible to expose the hosts, with Brazil looking vulnerable at times.

Marquinhos hobbled off in the semi final win over Argentina, with Filipe Luis also missing through injury. However, both players are expected to recover in time for the final, although Tite might decide to stick with Alex Sandro over Filipe at left back. Jefferson Farfan will be a doubt for the Peruvians.

Despite Peru’s improvement over the course of the tournament, it would be an almighty shock if Brazil were to be defeated here. The problem for the Selecao has been scoring the first goal. When that comes, though, they tend to relax and play their best football. A first half opener could see them on their way.

Looking beyond the 5-0 thumping to Brazil in the group stage, Peru have kept a clean sheet in three of their four games played. Ricardo Gareca has done an exceptional job of organising his team and they won’t be easy to beat. Nonetheless, Brazil are strong favourites and will surely have too much quality not to win this final in front of their own fans.

1u - Back Draw/Brazil Half-Time/Full-Time @ +300

1.5u - Back Under 2.5 Goals @ -123

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