When the Copa America draw was made, Group C soccer odds looked like a slam dunk for Colombia and Brazil. After the first round of group games, though, it’s fair to say that things have not gone exactly as planned. Brazil needed a late goal to knock off Peru, and Venezuela stunned Colombia with a 1-0 win. Venezuela now has a chance to advance to the next round if they can take out Peru on Thursday night.
Venezuela vs Peru: Copa America Soccer Betting Preview
Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Time: 7.30 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Elías Figueroa, Valparaíso
Opening Line: Peru PK-130.
You have to credit Venezuela for seizing their opportunity against a Colombian side that was in a rich vein of form coming into the tournament. They had their hands full trying to handle James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, but they did an excellent job of keeping both men under control. Even when Jose Salomon put Venezuela ahead, you got the sense that it was only a matter of time before the Colombians pulled out a goal or two. That did not happen, though, and now Venezuela can punch their ticket into the next round with a win over Peru. A draw might even be enough for them, especially if Brazil can take care of Colombia in the other group game. Their style of play is not likely to win them a ton of fans, but they won’t care as long as they keep getting positive results.
Copa America Final Squad
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal), Salomon Libman (Cesar Vallejo).
Defenders: Luis Advincula (Vitoria Setubal), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmö), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich)
Midfielders: Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Edwin Retamoso (Real Garcilaso), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Carlos Ascues (Melgar), Joel Sanchez (Universidad San Martín de Porres), Paolo Hurtado (Pacos de Ferreira), Juan Manuel Vargas (Fiorentina), Christian Cueva (Alianza Lima), Cristian Benavente (Real Madrid Castilla), Paulo Albarracin (Alianza Lima).
Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Jefferson Farfan (Schalke), Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians), Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich), Yordy Reyna (RB Leipzig)
Goalkeepers: Alain Baroja (Caracas), Wuilker Farinez (Caracas), Daniel Hernandez (Tenerife)
Defenders: Gabriel Cichero (Mineros de Guayana), Grenddy Perozo (Ajaccio), Andres Tunez (Buriram United), Wilker Angel (Deportivo Tachira), Roberto Rosales (Malaga), Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough), Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes)
Midfielders: Rafael Acosta (Mineros de Guayana), Ronald Vargas (Baliskersirspor), Franklin Lucena (Deportivo La Guaira), Cesar Gonzalez (Deportivo Táchira), Tomas Rincon (Genoa), John Murillo (Zamora), Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe), Juan Arango (Tijuana), Alejandro Guerra (Atletico Nacional).
Forwards: Gelmin Rivas (Deportivo Táchira), Nicolas “Miku” Fedor (Rayo Vallecano), Josef Martínez (Torino), Salomon Rondon (Zenit).
Peru and Venezuela play a very similar style of game that might well lead to something of a dull affair. That said, though, the high stakes might open up the game somewhat, and that could add up to some goals. Venezuela strike me as the slightly better team, and while a draw might be the best bet, I have a feeling they might edge this with a 2-1 win.