Copa America: Peru vs Venezuela preview

July 22, 2011
By: Frank Beresford

Before the tournament started, not too many people believed that these two teams would even progress from the group stage, let alone make it to the semi-finals, but Peru and Venezuela eventually had a chance to fight for the place in the final.

Having lost their respective semi-final clashes, the two sides are now set to battle for the final place on the podium in the 3rd place play-off game.

Coming to the tournament without key forwards Claudio Pizarro and Jeferson Farfan, coach Sergio Markarian had no choice but to opt for a defensive style of play, which would soon produce excellent results.

Peru managed to ensure their progress into the quarter-finals after just two group games, before producing a real coup by eliminating very good Colombia side to reach the semi-finals.

Against all odds, la Blanquirroja played another good game against Uruguay, but Sergio Markarian’s side missed several great chances whereas la Celeste took theirs and ended up winning the game.

Peru now face a very tough task against high-flying Venezuela, but looking at their recent performances, the odds of 3.00 (2/1) offered on home win by Bet365 could be worth a shot.

Key player Juan Manuel Vargas is suspended, while Adam Balbin should play despite picking up a knock in the Uruguay game.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Fernandez – Carmona, Acasiete, Rodriguez, Vilchez – Balbin, Yotun, Ballon, Cruzado – Guerrero, Advincula.

Having reached the Copa America quarter-finals only once in their history, it is no wonder that Venezuela were not seen as one of the teams that can reach the final stages of the competition.

However, talented coach Cesar Farias and his also talented squad of players showed a lot of maturity in addition to their quality performances and soon became the surprise package of the tournament.

After winning the second place in a very difficult group, la Vinotinto disposed of Chile to reach their first ever Copa America semi-finals, but failed to make that final step.

Despite completely outplaying Paraguay, hitting woodwork three times and having a valid goal disallowed in the process, Venezuela ended up losing the game after penalties and are now forced to battle for the 3rd place finish.

Taking into account team’s impressive performances and the fact that they are still unbeaten after five games, I see a great value in backing Venezuela to win the game at 2.50 (3/2) offered by Stan James.

Nicolas Fedor ‘Miku’ should return to the starting line-up, but Grenddy Perozo is unlikely to feature.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Vega – Rosales, Rey, Vizcarrondo, Cichero – Lucena, Gonzalez, Rincon, Arango – Miku, Rondon.

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