Colombia take on Paraguay in their second fixture of the Group A encounter of the Copa America Centenario 2016 at the Rose Bowl Pasadena in California.
Columbia were 2-0 winners against hosts USA in their opening group fixture and they hardly sweat in the full 90 minutes of the encounter. Currently sitting at the top of the table with 3 points, a win will put Colombia in the quarter finals.
But their Tuesday’s opponents Paraguay are also desperate for a win after the 0-0 stalemate against Costa Rica in their opening group match. A defeat here will result in an early exit, but a draw may still keep them in the hunt until the final group match against USA.
Colombia are on a 4 match winning run in all competitions. They scored 11 goals in their last four at an average of 2.75 goals per game. The 2-0 win against USA was the first in 7 matches that they kept a clean sheet.
Paraguay haven’t won in any of their previous 4 matches, but lost just once in their last 5 (1W, 3D). The Los Guaranies failed to score in their last two matches and the 0-0 draw against Costa Rica was the first time in 6 matches that they kept a clean sheet.
Colombia Team News
Jose Pekerman remains optimistic on James Rodriguez’ situation after the player got his shoulder dislocated in the 72nd minute of the opening group fixture. But he is likely to miss the fixture and Dayro Moreno could be the likely replacement. This is the only expected change and rest of the starting lineup remains the same as in the 2-0 win against USA.
Colombia: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Ospina – Diaz, Murillo, Zapata, Arias – Torres, Perez – Moreno, Cardona, Cuadrado – Bacca.
Paraguay Team News:
The 23-year old defender Gustavo Gomez was the pick of the players in the 0-0 draw against Costa Rica and he will once again partner the veteran Paulo da Silva in the center of the defense.
The likes of Derlis Gonzalez and Dario Lezcano are expected to keep their place in the side despite failing to make the desired impact.
Ramon Diaz is expected to name an unchangeds starting line-up from that started in the opening match against Costa Rica.
Paraguay: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Villar – Samudio, Da Silva, Gomez, Valdez – Romero, Piris, Ortiz, Gonzalez – Benitez, Lezcano.
Colombia vs Paraguay: Head-to-Head Stats
Colombia hold a healthy head-to-head record against Paraguay with 8 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats from 13 matches played between them so far.
They had met on two previous occasions in Copa America, the first during Quarter-finals of the 1995 edition, where Colombia won on penalties after drawing 1-1 at full time. The second and the last meeting end in a 5-0 win for Paraguay at the Copa America 2007, Roque Santa Cruz scoring a hat-trick on that occasion.
Colombia are on a three match win streak against Paraguay and their latest is a 2-1 away win in the World Cup 2014 Qualification fixture on October 2013.
Colombia vs Paraguay: Prediction
Colombia have a strong record against Paraguay and were victorious in all of the last three encounters between the two. Jose Pekerman’s team have shown glimpses of brilliance in their opening fixture, still failed to score a goal from the open play. The fitness of James Rodriguez is also an issue, but Juan Cuadrado and Carlos Bacca are able to cover the absence of their start play-maker. But the major worry is the number of free kicks they conceded in dangerous positions.
Paraguay lacked sharpness in the 0-0 draw against Costa Rica. But you have witnessed what you must expect from them, that is their high pressing game and quick attacks on the counter. The goal scoring and creating chances remains a big worry, despite having quality forwards in the line-up.
Colombia are heavy favourites to win this fixture, even though Paraguay must not be under estimated. And I expect Colombians to win this by keeping a clean sheet on the evening.
Full Time Score Prediction: Colombia 2-0 Paraguay.
Recommended Bet: Colombia to win (odds @ 1.85)
Best Bet: Handicap Colombia[-1] (odds 3.60)
Big Money Bet: Goals: Carlos Bacca to score first (odds 5.00)
*All Odds from Ladbrokes at the time of composing this article.
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