Another clash of titans in the Copa America quarter-finals will see defending champions Brazil meet very good Paraguay side for the second time at this tournament.
The Selecao salvaged one point by scoring in the dying moments of their group game against Paraguay and we are now set to see whether Mano Menezes’s side can fare any better in this clash.
Brazil haven’t had the perfect start to the tournament, but we cannot say that was a surprise considering that Mano Menezes had completely rejuvenated the squad upon taking over from Dunga.
Nonetheless, the Selecao kept raising their form as the tournament unfolded and they are now considered favourites to go through, even if the odds of 1.67 (2/3) offered by Stan James on home win are a bit low.
Douglas Maicon will keep his place in the side following the impressive performance in the 4:2 win over Ecuador, but Thiago Silva is doubtful with injury.
Should the Milan defender fail to recover in time, his place will be taken by either Luizao or David Luiz.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-1-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Thiago Silva, Lucio, Andre Santos – Ramires, Lucas Leiva – Ganso – Neymar, Pato, Robinho.
Had the group game lasted 85 instead of 90 minutes, Paraguay would have reached the quarter-finals as winner of Group B, but some late goals have cost them dearly at the start of the tournament.
Following the goalless draw with Ecuador, la Albirroja were denied a win over Brazil by the late goal from Fred, but that was only a start of their worries.
Gerardo Martino’s side produced a very good performance in their final group game against Venezuela and they were on course to win the game and finish in 1st place having entered the final stage of the match leading 3:1.
However, Paraguay allowed themselves to concede not one but two injury time goals and almost missed out on the place in the quarter-finals.
Gerardo Martino’s side are now set to face mighty Brazil for the second time and they might have to do so without Roque Santa Cruz, who is struggling with injury.
Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Villar – Veron, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Torres – Vera, Ortigoza, Riveros, Estigarribia – Barrios, Valdez.