Monday, June 22, 2015

Copa América – Quarterfinal previews & predictions

Chile vs Uruguay (June 24)

One of the most intriguing quarterfinals starts off the round. Chile were convincing in the group stages playing offensive power football, while scoring a whole 10 goals. Despite a 3-3 draw, they kept a clean sheet two times. If you look at keys to beat a team like Uruguay you will not get past a good defensive performance. After watching a lot of football at this tournament, I have to say Chile are the only favorite that completely convinced me.

Uruguay have been mediocre at best. They have looked slow and not very creative. While this has never really been a strength of this team, you would just expect more against teams like Jamaica or Paraguay. On the bright side, their defense was there when needed, and Godín, who missed the clash with Paraguay, will return for the game against Chile, giving them an additional boost. They will need him against Alexis Sanchez and Co.

Prediction: It is a tough one, but if Chile can keep up their form from the group stage games, they will come away with a win. Uruguay will do their best to destroy the hosts offensive plan. 2-1 Chile.

Bolivia vs Peru (June 25)

A quarterfinal, that not many would have necessarily predicted ahead of the tournament’s start. Bolivia beat out Mexico and Ecuador to finish second only behind the hosts. Those Chileans destroyed them 5-0 in the last group outing though. Personally, I am pretty certain that Bolivia will bounce back against Peru. Bolivia showed that they can score goals, but they can not keep the ball out of their own net in return. It should be an interesting game.

Peru on the other side made the quarterfinal with a good defensive group stage. The only two goals they gave up were scored by Brazil in the first game. With Cueva, Pizarro and Guerrero, just to name three, the two time Copa América winner are dangerous up front as well and Bolivia will have to keep their eye on the opponent’s offense at all times. Guerrero is still without a goal, he might be due for one soon.

Prediction: If defense wins championships, you have to go with Peru here. A one goal win for them.


Peru with captain Claudio Pizarro will look to reach the semifinals for the second time in a row by beating Bolivia on Thursday.

Argentina vs Colombia (June 26)

The style in which Argentina marched through the group reminded of the World Cup. Previously announced as a more offensive version for this tournament, they lacked a lot especially in the final third of the pitch. That it was still enough for 7 points does not speak for the rest of the group. Still, the Albiceleste has tons of quality as you well know. In this tournament they would automatically be favorites against anyone for my liking.

Colombia played an up and down group stage themselves. Following a surprising loss to Venezuela, they even more surprisingly beat Brazil, just to follow it up with a goalless draw against Peru, which makes you wonder where they stand again. Playing dirty against Peru, they can call themselves lucky to have James and Cuadrado available for the quarterfinal. Not all that much to see from the football that was celebrated around the world a year ago.

Prediction: Argentina to win 2-0, maybe Messi to wake up?

Brazil vs Paraguay (June 27)

A Neymar-less Brazil made it through to the quarter finals after a controlled win against Venezuela. Others were shining in the captain’s absence, for example Willian and Roberto Firmino. Now that it is crunchtime in the tournament, the loss of Neymar might have more of an effect on this Brazilian team. Sure, they still have a good team, but we know that this situation has the squad bothered. You wonder which team will show up against Paraguay: The average one from the Peru game? The bad one against Colombia? Or the good one that beat Venezuela? The last one might be required.

Paraguay on the other hand have not lost a single game yet in the 2015 Copa América, which is even more impressive as they come out of the group including Argentina and Uruguay. In addition, they did not have much trouble scoring goals and were dangerous from open play as well as set pieces like we recently saw against Uruguay. The 2-2 draw against Argentina in the opening match was a huge confidence booster, that the team has used to their advantage ever since.

Prediction: A close game that can go both ways. I am going with the surprise and Paraguay to win 1-0.


Post a Comment