This is when the Copa America really hots up. The cream has risen to the top and the quarter finals kick off this weekend. This is when the contenders and pretenders will be divided, when the frontrunners will start to stretch their legs at the front of the pack. There are heavyweight clashes everywhere you look. Here are four tips for the Copa America quarter finals.
Brazil v Paraguay
Arena do Gremio, Thursday June 27
It can be difficult to know what sort of Brazil team will show up to any given international tournament. This summer, though, the hosts have so far lived up to their billing as Copa America favourites despite a disappointing draw to Venezuela in the group stages. Nonetheless, the Selecao are unbeaten and have yet to concede a goal in the three games they have played.
Casemiro is suspended for this match with Fernandinho also an injury concern. This could leave Brazil exposed in front of their back four. Paraguay, in contrast to Brazil, have yet to actually win a game at this summer’s Copa America. They have, however, proved difficult to break down in matches against both Argentina and Colombia.
1u - Back Under 2.5 Goals @ +125
Venezuela v Argentina
Maracana, Friday June 28
Argentina avoided complete disaster by beating Qatar in their final group game to make the knockout rounds of the Copa America. However, Lionel Messi and his teammates are still struggling for form and in Venezuela they face a team who have upset the odds more than once already at this tournament.
Indeed, they have claimed draws against Brazil and Peru, beating Peru in their last group game to make it this far. Having beaten Argentina 3-1 earlier this year, Venezuela will fancy their chances and have demonstrated that they have the firepower to cause problems in the final third at this Copa America. This could be another tough evening for La Albiceleste.
0.75u - Back Venezuela To Win @ +550
Colombia v Chile
Corinthians Arena, Friday June 28
If there is a form team at this summer’s Copa America, it might well be Colombia. They are the only side to have won all three of their fixtures so far, also keeping three clean sheets in Group B. This will be a very different test for Carlos Queiroz’s men, though. Chile are the two-time defending Copa American champions, after all.
Three of the last four encounters between these two countries have ended in draws so this could be another tight affair. There has also been four red cards in the last five meetings. With the likes of Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Yerry Mina on the pitch, another dismissal could be a solid bet from this Copa America quarter final between two heavyweights.
1u - Back Duvan Zapata Anytime Goalscorer @ +180
Uruguay v Peru
Fonte Nova Arena, Saturday June 29
Had Edinson Cavani not scored late on to clinch a win over Chile, Uruguay would have been facing Colombia in the quarter finals of the Copa America. Instead, they have Peru, making them favourites to progress to the final four. Peru actually won the last meeting between the two countries, though, so Uruguay mustn’t take them lightly.
Nonetheless, Peru were thumped 5-0 by Brazil earlier in the tournament and given the strength of Uruguay’s forward line it’s difficult to envisage that they will avoid a similarly difficult match in the final eight. Cavani and Luis Suarez will see this as an opportunity to fill their boots ahead of toughest tests in upcoming rounds.
1.25u - Back Over 2.5 Goals @ +130