Brazil v Bolivia – Estádio do Morumbi at 01:00 GMT+1 live at Eleven Sports
The 2019 Copa America gets underway on Friday night in Sao Paolo with hosts Brazil being handed a kind opening contest against continental underdogs Bolivia. Understandably, pre-tournament favourites Brazil are as short as 1.05 to kick-off with maximum points, although there is value to be found elsewhere.
The Selecao will revert to the white shirts they wore until the early 1950s in a nod to the centenary of the 1919 Copa – the first time Brazil held, and won the competition. And having triumphed in three further editions of the tournament when staging, the suggestion is Tite’s troops will be too good once more.
Indeed, Brazil have suffered a sole reverse since 1975 in competitive home games – the 2014 World Cup semi-final shellacking by Germany – and boast a 100% competitive win record in front of their home supporters under Tite. The South Americans have also only lost twice in 36 fixtures during his reign.
Of course, Brazil are missing their talisman Neymar this summer. The PSG superstar has tended to excel for the national side, although his injury absence opens opportunity up for arguably the competition’s most talent-laden squad. With plenty of potential replacements available, Neymar shouldn’t be missed.
The betting angle
Brazil can be backed with a -2.5 Asian Handicap hurdle at 1.91 quotes for Friday night’s curtain-raiser. Two of the last three head-to-head meetings have finished in 4-0 and 5-0 triumphs for the Selecao, with the former taking place in the notoriously difficult high-altitude climes of La Paz.
In fact, four of the last six encounters in Brazil between the two nations have yielded 5-0 or 6-0 scorelines and Tite’s men warmed up for the competition with a 7-0 smashing of Honduras, showcasing their offensive potential without Neymar’s influence as six players managed to get on the scoresheet.
Bolivia to suffer in Sao Paolo
Bolivia have often been cast in their traditional Copa America role as sacrificial victims for the hosts in the opening game. However, La Verde have not always read the script and battled for draws in four opening encounters in this competition since 1999, although this contest looks the most daunting prospect.
The minnows only narrowly avoided last place in World Cup qualification by virtue of picking up positive points in 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 they’ve W2-D6-L28 in competitive matches outside of the capital.
La Verde have failed to progress past the group-stages of the Copa America in six of the past seven renewals and a heavy hammering in their curtain-raiser this weekend is likely to be the first of three difficult games in Group A that ultimately end in another early departure.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Brazil -2.50 at 1.910
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
Brazil crushed Honduras 7-0 in their last warm-up game and the tournament hosts must be high on confidence ahead of their opener against Bolivia. Make use of Eastbridge’s 2019 Copa America: Brazil v Bolivia Match Preview and betting insights with VOdds or through Eastbridge’s Skype betting at custserve01.