Copa America favourites Brazil got their campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-0 success against Bolivia. Next up for the Seleção is Venezuela, who drew 0-0 with Peru and it is likely to go to the wire for the second qualifying berth to advance with the five-time World Cup winners.
Where and when: Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador – 18 June, kick-off 01:30
Where you can see Brazil vs. Venezuela: Premier Sports 1
Last time: Gabriel Jesus and Willian netted either side of the break when the nations met in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
|Brazil to win 2-0||4/1||Offer|
|Venezuela to come from behind and win||110/1||Offer|
|Total goals exact: 2||3/1||Offer|
Brazil vs. Venezuela Predictions and Preview
Neymar-less Brazil are expected to line up with the same eleven that ran out comfortable winners on the opening matchday. The Seleção boast two of the globe’s finest keepers in Alisson and Ederson but it is the Champions League winning stopper who got the nod with an experienced backline of Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Filipe Luis in front of the Liverpool man.
In midfield, Head Coach Tite has opted for a double pivot of Casemiro and Fernandinho, allowing the front four the perfect platform to express themselves, as they displayed in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Despite their talisman’s absence, Tite can still call on the services of Richarlison, Roberto Firmino, David Neres and Philippe Coutinho, with Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Everton and Lucas Paqueta in reserve.
Indeed, it was Barcelona ace Coutinho who ran the show against Bolivia, netting twice and the talented playmaker arguably performs to a higher level for his country. Coutinho is 13/5 to open proceedings and 12/1 to hit another brace.
Meanwhile, fellow attacker Firmino, who will get another opportunity ahead of Jesus, is 12/5 in the anytime scorer market. Brazil are 1/5 to clinch another three points and all but assure themselves a place in the next round of the competition.
Opponents Venezuela’s chief goalscoring threat is Salomón Rondón. The burly hitman enjoyed a fine season on loan at Newcastle United and will be certainly be a handful for Silva and Marquinhos. Rondón is 6/1 to break the deadlock while La Vinotinto are 12/1 to pull of a shock win and 11/2 to earn a share of the spoils.
One to watch for Brazil: Everton capped the victory against La Verde, scoring four minutes after his introduction from the bench and the Gremio hitman is 13/2 to repeat his exploits in the second game.
One to watch for Venezuela: Josef Martínez has enjoyed three prolific terms with MLS outfit Atlanta United and could be an asset after the break. Martínez is 8/1 to bag anytime.
Long shot: Venezuela are expected to go with their tried and tested 4-5-1 formation with Rondón pressing from the opening whistle and La Vinotinto will be tough to break down. Rafael Dudamel’s squad have only conceded two or more just once from their last seven duels, and a goalless outcome is 16/1.