SOUTH AMERICA: Copa América
Time: 01:00 AM
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos (Rio de Janeiro)
Nine-time Copa América (CA) winners and host nation Brazil’s title defence is off to a perfect start after scoring seven goals without conceding across their first two fixtures. Qualifying from the group was never really in doubt for the hosts who have already secured that as they seek victory here against their best-ranked group opponents, Colombia (#15).
That may be easier said than done however, as Brazil have failed to beat their best-ranked opponents in three of their last four CA group matches (W1, D1, L2) – remaining goalless in three games. On a run of six straight clean sheets in all internationals, this is Brazil’s best such run since an identical streak in 2018 whilst one more here would secure their longest run of successive shutouts since a nine-game run ending at the 2011 CA.
Despite one-time winner Colombia’s high-profile absentees – namely James Rodriguez – they’ve made a solid enough start to this CA campaign and could yet leapfrog Brazil with victory (W1, D1, L1). In essence this is a free hit for underdogs Colombia, who’ve failed to qualify from just one of their last nine CA group stage appearances and should still eventually progress even without a positive result here.
Keeping a clean sheet is often key to Colombia’s success given that each of their 11 international victories since a 3-1 friendly win vs Costa Rica in 2018 came without reply, including a 2-0 win vs CONMEBOL juggernauts, Argentina. However, whilst Colombia kept nine clean sheets in 32 H2Hs (W3, D10, L19), six of those games ended goalless.
·Brazil’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
·Colombia’s form in last 5 matches: LDWDW
PREDICTION: Home Win