Copa America: Bolivia- Peru
Bolivia have conceded seven goals in their last three halves of football at the Copa and whilst they one won of those games, it might be that they are reverting to type and have remembered just how poor they are and are supposed to be away from home ! We spoke about this ahead of their opener with Mexico......... "I mentioned yesterday how El Tri are seemingly prioritising their Gold Cup campaign, which begins in less that four weeks time, they are honouring their CONCACAF obligations and the fact that their opening game is in Chicago, which houses the second largest population of Mexican-born immigrants in the US, is probably also a deciding factor.
They have left a host of key players, including Chicharito, Guardado, Giovani dos Santos, Carlos Vela. plus several others at home and this is very much a B team, despite anything to the contrary that controversial coach Miguel Herrera might say. He is very stubborn and seems certian to stick with his preferred formation (basically a 5-3-2) without the players he needs to do it justice ! If they were playing anyone else today apart from Bolivia, I would like to oppose them, but their opponents are not very good away from their high altitude homeland and have not won an away game in over eight years and the one before that was four years earlier, so a defeat of South Africa in a friendly , where they were gifted a winning goal and opponents were denied an equaliser when the referee blew his whistle for half time with the ball en route to the net, to show for 12 years and some 50 away/neutral starts ! Mexico are below strength, have other priorities and will play a formation that will not suit personnel, Bolivia are not very good and cannot win outside their own country ! If we had to bet, I would have to suggest the draw @ circa 4.33 and I might take a (very) little on that just to keep me awake !"
They played out a 0-0 draw there and were then 3-0 up at the break against an Ecuador team who simply did not show up at these championships until it was time to go home ! They won that 3-2, but Ecuador missed a penalty and hit the woodwork and I doubt that Bolivia would have progressed from any other group.
Peru have looked very solid keeping Colombia and Venuezuela scoreless and Brazil at 1-1 (after two early goals) for 87 minutes. They do not have any real weaknesses, look good in defence and midfield and have three veteran forwards on Paolo Guerro, Jefferson Farfan and Claudion Pizarro who are all the wrong side of thirty and playing in what might be their last major championship, the trio have all played at the top level in Europe and have 60 international goals between them and can find a goal and one might be enough, to edge this. Peru feel they are improving and have more to offer and I would have been very keen on them for this if they were not without captain Carlos Labatón and defensive midfielder Josepmir Ballón, who are both suspended. That kind of tempers enthusiasm, but they are in their 7th straight Copa quarter final and will be looking to at least equal their 2011 3rd place finish. They were not adventurous enough in the semi final against Uruguay and I feel they will have learned from that. Peru -0.5 ball 1.93 asian line/Sportmarket.