Brazil are already in the final of the Copa America and on Wednesday night we will find out who they will face in the showpiece occasion at the weekend when the defending champions Chile take on bitter rivals Peru in the second semi-final.
There is never any love lost between these two teams so we look set to get a fiery and feisty encounter and when you throw in the reward for winning this match we are in for quite some contest I fancy.
I think it is fair to say that it is a surprise that Chile have made it to this stage. I say that because this squad doesn’t look as strong as the ones that have won this tournament. On paper that certainly seems to be the case but to be fair they have performed pretty well in the competition to date. The only game where you could argue they were poor was the match against Uruguay in the group stage but they had already qualified by then so even that was understandable.
I still think it was a surprise they came past Colombia in the quarter final, albeit they only did so on penalties but I think in the main they had the better of the game and if they can keep their composure here I expect them to have too much for Peru. That might be a fairly big if though it has to be said. Chile have only conceded twice in the tournament so they have the ability to keep it tight if they can score at the other end.
When the tournament started out I wouldn’t have thought too many would have expected Peru to be around until the final weekend but that is going to be the case with them into this semi-final. Peru have been the most inconsistent team left in the tournament but they showed against Uruguay that they can hang tough and hold their nerve when it truly counts and that can often be a big thing in a semi-final, especially one which might be tight like this one.
Where Peru could struggle is in front of goal. The only team they have scored against in this tournament is Bolivia and that doesn’t exactly feel like much of a form guide for their attacking ability. They are likely to have to repel a number of Chilean attacks but they won’t be able to keep doing that if they don’t offer something in the attacking areas.
Chile are expected to name the same side to the one which saw off Colombia in the quarter final with Alexis Sanchez getting another chance to remind everyone of his talents after scoring the winning penalty against Colombia.
Peru will be hoping that Jefferson Farfan has recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out of the quarter final. He would fit in behind Paolo Guerrero once again if he has made a recovery.
I’m very surprised we can get the sort of prices we can on Chile in this match. I thought we might have to take Chile to win to nil to get a bit of value on them but as it is 17/20 is a more than acceptable price on the defending champions winning this inside the 90 minutes. I just think they will have too much power for the Peruvians.
The only match Peru have looked remotely convincing in was the Bolivia one and that hardly counts when comparing it to the test which lies ahead here. They don’t look to be carrying enough of a goal threat for my liking and as we saw against Brazil their defence can easily be exposed. VAR saved Peru three times from close call goals in the quarter final. I don’t expect anything to save them here.
Back Chile to beat Peru for a 4/10 stake at 1.85 with Betway