Colombia meet Paraguay in Salvador on Sunday looking to top Group B with a perfect record. Carlos Queiroz’s side have beaten Argentina 2-0 and Qatar 1-0 in their first two games of the Copa America, and have emerged as a real contender to win the tournament. Two clean sheets is testament to the work that their veteran Portuguese coach has done on their defence.
Paraguay really need to win this game to go through to the knock-out phase, after drawing against both Qatar and Argentina. In both those games, Eduardo Berizzo’s side have surrendered leads, something which has left them uncertain of qualification going into this game. With Argentina facing a very winnable game against Qatar, nothing less than victory will guarantee a second round spot.
Colombia vs Paraguay Prediction: Colombia 1-1 Paraguay
Colombia have already secured a spot in the next phase of the tournament, and that could affect the way that Queiroz’s side lines up in this game. It may also affect their attitude, with victory unnecessary players may think more about saving themselves for the next round rather than going all out for victory. Paraguay have shown a lack of self-belief in their first two games, letting leads slip and drawing games that they should have won, and we suspect that they lack the ruthlessness needed to beat Colombia. A low-scoring draw looks the likeliest outcome to us.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Betway, who are offering odds of 16/5 on the game ending in a draw with both teams scoring. This bet matches our prediction for how the game will turn out perfectly, and also gives you some flexibility when it comes to the precise final score. Colombia have already secured qualification while Paraguay look like a team that does not know how to win games. Odds of 16/5 also offer good value to punters who are prepared to bet using judgement and skill. It would not be a surprise to see Paraguay take the lead in this game only to end up drawing again.
These two teams have met on 46 previous occasions, with Colombia having a slight edge in terms of the victory tally. The Colombians have come out on top 21 times and lost 19 times. There have been just six draws since the teams first played each other in 1947 in the Copa America.
Paraguay won the last meeting between the teams. The game was a World Cup qualifier in Baranquilla in October 2017. Paraguay won 2-1, thanks to two goals in the game’s dying minutes from Oscar Cardozo and Antonio Sanabria. Colombia had taken the lead in the 80th minute through Radamel Falcao.
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Players to watch: Duvan Zapata & Miguel Almiron
Duvan Zapata has scored two goals for Colombia so far in this year’s Copa America. He added the vital second goal against Argentina after coming on as a substitute. He started up front as the central striker against Qatar and netted the game’s winning goal in the 86th minute. If Paraguay want to win this game and ensure qualification for the second phase they need to keep Zapata quiet.
Miguel Almiron produced an outstanding assist in Paraguay’s opening game against Argentina, with his lung bursting run wrecking the Argentine defensive structure before setting up Roger Sanchez to finish things off. The Newcastle United winger has looked sharp in both of his country’s games so far at this Copa America, and Paraguay will need a big game from the winger if they are to reach the second round this weekend.