Bolivia v Peru – Maracanã AT 22:30 GMT +1 LIVE AT Premier Sports
Tuesday night’s tussle between Andean rivals Bolivia and Peru is being deemed a must-win match after the sides failed to kick-off their Copa America campaigns with a victory. Bolivia’s resistance was broken in the second-half by hosts Brazil, whilst Peru’s profligate finishing allowed Venezuela to pick up a point.
Bolivian boss Eduardo Villegas attempted to keep things tight against the Samba Boys in Sao Paolo, fielding a conservative XI. La Verde survived a few early scares and grew in stature to contain and frustrate Brazil during the opening 45 minutes. However, the South American outsiders offered very little threat.
Standout striker Marcelo Moreno was marooned up front on his own without any service and the pressure eventually told after the break as the competition favourites fired in three goals without reply. La Verde managed only five attempts at goal from their 26% ball possession and will need to alter their approach if they’re realise aspirations to reach the knockout stage.
Bolivia only narrowly avoided last place in World Cup qualification by virtue of picking up positive points in the altitude of La Paz. When asked to take the road, Bolivia were beaten in all nine away days and since the start of 2010 World Cup qualification have W2-D6-L29 in competitive games outside the capital.
Peru capable of clinching top honours
La Verde have failed to progress past the group-stages of the Copa America in six of the past seven renewals and look well worth opposing again this midweek. Despite failing to pick up maximum points in their opening encounter, Peru showed enough ability to suggest they can overcome a -0.75 Asian Handicap.
La Blanquirroja had two goals ruled out by VAR for offside and were also denied by a combination of last-ditch blocks and outstanding reflex saves in Porto Alegre. Ricardo Gareca’s group won the Expected Goals (xG) count 1.93-0.84 and will be desperate to make their mark with Brazil waiting in the wings after.
Peru earned plenty of plaudits on their return to the World Cup stage last summer after a 36-year absence, and whilst results have been mixed over the following 12 months – W3-D2-L6 – there’s still more than enough pace, panache and potential in this side to cause plenty of problems for Bolivia.
Veteran forward Paolo Guerrero showcased his evergreen ability against Venezuela and should be ably assisted by an exciting, forward-thinking cast from midfield, ensuring Los Incas justify their mark as short-priced favourites here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Peru -0.75 at 1.720
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.