In a rematch of the 2019 tournament final, Peru will face Copa America hosts Brazil in the semifinal of the 2021 Copa America.
The 2019 tournament, also hosted by Brazil, was finished off with a 3-1 victory for the hosts over surprising finalists Peru. Will there be a repeat performance in this year’s semifinal? The bookies think so but we’ll just have to see how it plays out.
It is a repeat of the 2019 Copa America final as Brazil takes on Peru in the first semifinal of the 2021 Copa America after the two nations registered wins in their quarter final clashes. Brazil advanced courtesy of a slim 1-0 win over Chile while Peru had to go all the way to penalties before dispatching Paraguay after a 3-3 draw. Gabriel Jesus was sent off in the win over Chile and will be out of the semis but Brazil have an array of replacements lined up. It is expected Lucas Paqueta, the man who scored the only goal in the quarters, will be replacing him after starting on the bench in the Chile game. These two sides have already faced off in this competition, and Brazil won 4-0 in their Group B clash and will still be favorites here, carrying a 12-game unbeaten run. In those 12 matches, Brazil have managed 11 wins, and they have clean sheets in nine of them.
Peru have grown from strength to strength as this competition progresses. They haven’t lost after their heavy defeat to Brazil and going here they’ll want to avenge not just that but also the loss in the final of the last edition. They’ve managed two wins and two draws in the last four matches and scored at least two in three of them and they have just one clean sheet in 14 matches. Heading to this game they will also miss a key player in Andre Carrilo, who was sent off against Paraguay as they won on post-match penalties. Carrilo’s absence will be felt after his contribution to two goals in the Paraguay game. With Peru going to the game as underdogs, they will definitely set up defensively so Gianluca Lapadula is expected to play as a lone striker in Carrilo’s absence.
Form Guide: Brazil
Brazil, not dissimilar to South American rivals Argentina, seem to sink or swim depending on the manager, and the buy-in they get from their players. In that sense, this is a very dangerous Brazil team. Manager Tite has them playing the best soccer of this generation, with a high-press working brilliantly with the safety net of two world-class defensive midfielders in behind. Even Neymar appears fully invested in the tactical approach, pressing with an intensity not seen from him since he left Barcelona.
Brazil cruised through the group stage with 10 points out of a possible 12, scoring 10 goals while allowing two, and creating 9.3 xG compared to 2.4 xG conceded. The only performance in which they weren’t completely dominant came in the final group stage game against Ecuador, a 1-1 draw during which many Brazil starters rested. They are strong favorites to win this one and many expect it could be a stroll in the park for the reigning champions.
Form Guide: Peru
Peru, without talisman Paolo Guerrero in the tournament, have done well to continue their ascension as an international side in this tournament. Their success has come, in large part, due to the partnership of
Gianluca Lapadula and Andre Carrillo, who have combined for four goals at the tournament. Unfortunately, Carrillo will miss this game through suspension after he was sent off in the quarterfinals.
Peru continue to make progress after their Copa America final in 2019, but they are running into a buzzsaw in the semifinals. The odds are strongly against them here and they’ll need something remarkable to see them get something against Brazil.
How the match could go
Having lost to no side other than Brazil in CA action since the start of July 2015 (W7, D6, L3), Peru may be in for a long night. They needed penalties to defeat Paraguay in Friday evening’s first quarter-final, drawing 3-3 despite having a man advantage for almost the entire second half.
Already thrashed 4-0 by Brazil at this venue in the group phase, the visitors have bowed out at the semi-final stage twice in the past decade. They conceded exactly twice in both matches, with one opposition player scoring a brace each time. There is every reason to believe that they could be bowing out once again but it won’t be without a fight. Peru will likely set out to defend from the onset but it depends on just how long they can hold out before Brazil crack their backline.
Betting Tips and Predictions
Brazil to win
No one expected Peru to get this far this time around and Brazil are huge favorites to win this. Brazil might have seen their 10-game winning streak come to an end against Ecuador but they remain unbeaten in their last 12 outings. Brazil strolled to a 3-1 final win when both sides met in the 2019 final. Both sides were also in the same group and Brazil already claimed a 4-0 win over their opponents in this competition. It might not be another ‘dominating’ result but we expect Brazil to win once again. Bet365 have 1.22 odds, Bet9ja have 1.26 and 1xbet have 1.27.
Over 1.5 goals
Asides the 1-0 win against Chile last time out, at least two goals have been scored in seven out of Brazil’s last eight games. In a game where they are strong favorites, Brazil alone could easily make this pick and it’s more or less a safe bet that this should come through after 90 minutes. Bet9ja have 1.23 odds, 1xbet have 1.26 and Bet365 have 1.28.
Both teams to score: No
Brazil have only conceded twice in the competition so far and those separate goals against Ecuador and Colombia are the only blemish on their run of seven clean sheets from their last nine games. Poetically, the last side to score more than a goal against Brazil was Peru themselves, in a 4-2 defeat to the defending champions for World Cup qualifying back in June. However, the stakes are higher this time around and we expect Brazil to shut out their opponents just like they did in the group stages. 1xbet have 1.46 odds, Bet9ja have 1.48 and Bet365 have 1.50.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Brazil)
Neymar has continued to remain influential for Brazil in this tournament, having scored two and set up a couple more himself. He is only just about eight goals away from breaking Pele’s international record for Brazil and that should serve as extra motivation for him to increase his tally. He has been brilliant for Brazil over the past two years and you can count on him to cause trouble to the Peruvian defence once again. Bet365 have 1.70 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have 2.20.
Following Gabriel Jesus’ red card, it could be slight good news for Paqueta. Not only will Paqueta get the start with a trip to the Copa America final on the line, but he’ll get to slot into the most advantageous position on the field. In Brazil and Peru’s meeting in the group stage, a game won 4-0 by Brazil, nearly 40 percent of Brazil’s attacks were built down the right side. Jesus assisted on the first goal from the right, while both Neymar and Jesus found a ton of success drifting wide then cutting inside. Now, Paqueta will take up that right-sided attacking position, riding high after scoring his first of the tournament against Chile. After scoring the only goal against Chile, he is in line to add another vs. Peru. Bet365 have 2.75 odds while Bet9ja have 3.50.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Peru)
Two goals for the attacker means only Lionel Messi has scored more than he has in the competition. As earlier mentioned, his partnership with Andre Carrillo has been the major reason Peru even made it this far in the first place. Peru are massive underdogs to win here but if anything could happen, this is the man to count on. Bet365 have 3.80 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have 4.50.
In the absence of Carrillo, it’s difficult to pin-point another scorer for Peru. However, Sergio Pena could yet fit that bill. Himself and Yotun are the only other players aside Lapadula and Carrilo to have scored for Peru this term. He comes off the back of a season where he impressed a great deal for FC Emmem. The chances are rather slim but he could come as a massive value option to score. Bet365 have 5.75 odds while Bet9ja have 6.25.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.