Brazil continue their Copa America title defence in the second half of the Group B double header on Wednesday evening when they take on Colombia in Rio de Janeiro as the two best sides in the section on paper clash.
Brazil have already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition but are yet to wrap up top spot in the group. They can as good as do that here while Colombia need to find a win to get their tournament back on track.
It has been relatively easy work for Brazil so far in the tournament with a 3-0 win to open up against Venezuela before going and winning 4-0 against Peru in their second match. They never really had to go through the gears in either match so they probably didn’t need a rest but they have had one after they sat out the previous set of matches. That is only likely to make them even more dangerous in a match against a team they would want to send a marker out to.
Not only have Brazil won their two matches very convincingly and comfortably but they have been able to get most of their squad involved with Tite rotating his attacking players both to keep everyone fit and fresh and also to make sure those who could be involved stay active. You would think he would return to his strongest XI here off the back of a rest. He might like to see his defence tested a little here just to know they have strength in that department for when the knockout stages begin.
We thought going into the tournament that the vintage era of Colombia was just teetering on the edge of coming to an end if it hadn’t already done so, and based on what we’ve seen so far that assessment might have been correct because although they have a win and a defeat to their name, they have looked short on quality in the attacking areas and in truth they haven’t looked like a side who could win this title.
They have also gone down the route of keeping everyone active and fresh for the knockout stages of the competition but you would think they will have no choice but to name their strongest side here as they go about looking to contain the strongest side in the section. We need to see more from Colombia as an attacking threat. That is where they do still have some talent but it hasn’t really clicked for them just yet.
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It is hard to predict the team that Tite will select with his rotation policy underway but you would think there would be a stronger set of players on show here which could mean a return of Richarlison. Neymar hasn’t been rested yet but after a five day break he isn’t likely to need one here.
Colombia have Porto pair Mateus Uribe and Luis Diaz back from suspension for this match and they might go straight back in if only to offer up some fresher legs. Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina are set to be given the role of containing this Brazil attack.
It will be interesting to see if Colombia can offer up anything else other than what they have done so far to cause Brazil some problems. To date they have scored twice in the competition, the first from a neatly worked free kick routine and the other from the penalty spot so we need to see a heck of a lot more from them in open play if they are going to trouble this Brazil side you would think. Even if we do see more there isn’t any guarantee that they land a blow.
I expect Brazil to win this one but I’m a little conscious that they are going to make changes in the second half, especially when they are comfortably on top and that might make covering a handicap a little less likely. We’ve not seen Brazil tested defensively yet but they are so strong there that I’m not convinced Colombia find the net in this match even if they are tested. I think the best bet for this match is to back the home side to win to nil once again.
Back Brazil to win to nil for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Sky Bet