Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Brazil v Peru and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s Copa América final by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: -0.28pts
Brazil v Peru Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 07/07/2019
- Time: 21:00
- Venue: Maracanã
- Channel: Premier Sports
Peru will proudly stride onto the Maracanã surface as Brazil’s Copa final counterparts on Sunday, just two weeks on from being smashed 5-0 by the Seleção at Arena Corinthians.
Its required a monumental effort from Ricardo Gareca and his players to re-group after such a heavy defeat, managing to eliminate one of the pre-tournament favourites in Uruguay, as well as two-time defending champions Chile.
However, the Peruvians’ remarkable route to the final hasn’t been without fortune along the way. After scraping through to the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams, Gareca’s group were pinned back by Uruguay for the majority of the 90 minutes in the quarter-finals. Los Incas created next to nothing (0.01 xG), whilst VAR saved them from conceding on several occasions. Yet, Peru still managed to hold out for a 0-0 draw and subsequently prevailed 5-4 on penalties. The reward was a Clásico del Pacífico derby date with bitter rivals Chile; they ran out 3-0 winners, converting each of their three shots to hit the target.
Although Peru haven’t been at their energetic best for most of this summer’s tournament, a place in a first Copa final for 44 years, and only the third time in the nations’ history, is a deserving reward for the huge progress they’ve made under Gareca across the last four years. The Argentine gaffer has already led La Blanquirroja to a number of major milestones, notably: the semi-finals of the 2015 Copa, beating Brazil at the 2016 edition to top their group, and subsequently eliminate the Seleção, as well as securing a spot at a World Cup for the first time since 1982.
A famous victory here would top the lot but it’ll require another massive effort. Brazil have never failed to win a Copa tournament on home turf and are in excellent shape to secure a first major trophy since claiming the continents’ top honour in 2007. They’ve recorded an exceptional 32 wins, seven draws, and two losses in 41 games under Tite, conceding a total of just 10 goals over the course of nearly three years.
The Samba boys are in fact still yet to concede a goal at this year’s Copa, having previously booked their spot in Sunday’s showpiece with a 2-0 win over Argentina. I don’t subscribe to the media narrative that Lionel Scaloni’s side were unfortunate in the semi’s – despite creating a number of half chances and having rightful claims for a penalty, this game was won and lost before a ball had even been kicked.
To their credit, Lionel Messi and co managed to put in their best performance of tournament but the truth is that Argentina were totally out-thought from the sidelines. It’s significant that Brazil won the xG battle (1.4-0.45) despite being out-shot 14-4 and this is testament to gaffer Tite, who deserves huge credit for his canny tactical tweaks. Tite’s side usually like to dictate the large share of possession but instead sat deep and patiently waited for the Argentinians to over-commit bodies. Scaloni’s bold move to use a front-three played right into the hands of the Brazilians, who were able to use their pace to exploit the gaps left in midfield and ruthlessly strike twice on the counter attack.
For the demanding Brazilian public, who disregard the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2016 Olympic triumphs as significant successes, it’s the 7-1 2014 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany that still defines this generation of players. A win at the weekend will go some way in helping to reform the relationship between the Seleção and their supporters. They’ve been on the right path for a while with Tite at the helm but now need to take that next step by securing silverware.
Alex Sandro is in line to replace Filipe Luís at left-back for Brazil. Willian has been ruled out of Sunday’s final with a thigh strain, whilst Fernandinho is also a doubt due to an issue with his knee.
Peru could be unchanged from their 3-0 win against Chile and will likely match Brazil’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
Potential Brazil Starting XI: Alisson, Alves, Silva, Marquinhos, Sandro, Arthur, Casemiro, Coutinho, Éverton, Jesus, Firmino.
Potential Peru Starting XI: Gallese, Advíncula, Zambrano, Abram, Trauco, Tapia, Yotún, Cueva, Flores, Carrillo, Guerrero.
Head To Head
- Brazil have won both meetings between the sides under their current coaches.
Key Stats & Facts
- Taking into consideration the competition’s current format, host nations involved in Copa finals have lifted trophy on 3 out of 4 occasions.
- No side has produced more: attempts, attempts on target, attempts in the penalty area, generated a better xG, or conceded less shots per-game in the Copa América than Brazil.
- Under Gareca, Peru have lost just five of 18 major tournament fixtures, with their 5-0 loss to Brazil being their only defeat by more than a goal. Seven of these 18 were played against either: France, Denmark, Colombia, Brazil, or Chile, all of whom have international pedigree.
- Brazil – 1/3
- Draw – 23/5
- Peru – 49/4
The current handicaps and goal-lines look near enough spot on here. At the present quotes, I’d be slightly favouring Peru at 10/11 with a +1.5 Asian Handicap start and the 22/25 on the unders line, currently set at 2.5.
Its already been shown by Venezuela and Paraguay that a compact and organised structure can shut out Brazil; however I do have some reservations about the defensive discipline of the Peruvians. This is especially pertinent for full-backs Luis Advíncula and Miguel Trauco, both of whom like to bomb down the flanks, so I’m happier supporting a Brazil win and under 3.5 goals at 19/20 with Ladbrokes.
The build-up to this fixture is entirely different to the one played two weeks ago; this time, the game lends itself to being a tight and relatively low-scoring encounter.
Prior to the last meeting, Brazil were booed off both at half-time against Bolivia following a goalless opening 45 minutes and once again in their second group game, as the final whistle brought an end to a disappointing 0-0 draw versus Venezuela. As such, the Seleção were under considerable pressure to put in a convincing display in their final group game – this is not to say that the tournament hosts aren’t under any significant pressure here, but it’s a different form of pressure in comparison to the previous fixture.
Both Brazil and their fans will be content to win on Sunday in a less domineering manner, which alters the mentality of Tite and his side heading into the final. We saw the Brazil boss’ pragmatism on display again in the semi-final against Argentina and I’d expect we’ll see something similar here, with his side playing out a conservative contest. Speaking to the media, Alex Sandro and Éverton have implied they’ll be giving Peru plenty of respect:
“We need to pay more attention to Peru in the next match”, said Sandro.
Éverton added, “It will be a totally different match, as now it is about controlling the anticipation. That’s the main factor. We will face a great adversary and we need to be ready”.
Quite remarkably, Brazil have recorded 10 clean sheets in their 11 competitive home contests under Tite, with seven seeing the win and under 3.5 pay out.
For Peru, it’s telling they’ve won just two of 15 competitive away games against superiorly ranked nations under Gareca – Los Incas have lost nine, with eight seeing the home win and under 3.5 cop. Exclude Chile, and La Blanquirroja have failed to score in ten out of 12 fixtures within that sample, with seven of their most recent eight seeing no more than a single goal scored.
Whilst the latter implies there’s an argument for Peru being able to stay competitive to an extent on Sunday, I ultimately expect Brazil to record a relatively low-scoring success. When we consider the context of this game, the sides’ similar formational set-ups, and the strong statistical trends in favour of the hosts, the highlighted selection provides good value in what appears to be a fairly sharp betting market.