Venezuela vs Peru is arguably one of the most interesting clash in the first round of 2019 Copa America. The two teams are joint favourites to grab the second spot in Group A which also includes a talented Brazilian side. As per pre-tournament analysis, only one team can finish second and gain automatic progress from the group and this is the battle that decides the eventual winner.
2019 Copa America
Venezuela v Peru
Saturday 15 June
Arena do Gremio
La Vinotinto lost once in their last eight friendly matches, though they won once in their last seven competitive matches which results in finishing last in the World Cup qualifiers last year. Venezuela’s main problems pop out at the back. They concede far too many easy goals and the coach keeps changing the centre-back pairing.
Coached by former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper, Rafael Dudamel, who’s been at the helm since 2016, should come with a much more improved team. This is his last tournament to at least prove his worth even if it means qualifying as the third best team, La Vinotinto have to progress.
Goalkeepers: Wuilker Farinez, Rafael Romo, Joel Graterol
Defenders: Roberto Rosales, Mikel Villanueva, Rolf Feltscher, John Chancellor, Yordan Osorio, Ronald Hernandez, Luis Mago
Midfielders: Tomas Rincon, Luis Manuel Seijas, Arquimedes Figuera, Jhon Murillo, Darwin Machis, Junior Moreno, Adalberto Penaranda, Yangel Herrera, Luis Gonzalez, Jefferson Savarino
Forwards: Salomon Rondon, Josef Martinez, Fernando Aristeguieta
Peru were the surprise entrant in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and not many people thought that they had the slightest of the chance to reach here with five games left to play in the South American qualification campaign. But, Ricardo Gareca’s men bagged three wins and two draws to trump Chile for the play-off spot.
The Red and Whites didn’t embarrass themselves in the World Cup, finishing third with three points and losing to France 1-0, who went on to win the trophy. However, in the friendly matches played recently Peru have won twice and lost four of their last six.
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caceda, Patricio Alvarez
Defenders: Luis Advincula, Carlos Zambrano, Miguel Trauco, Aldo Corzo, Alexander Callens, Miguel Araujo, Anderson Santamaria, Luis Abram
Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Renato Tapia, Christofer Gonzales, Jesus Pretell, Paolo Hurtado
Forwards: Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero, Andre Carillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Andy Polo
Prediction: Peru (13/10)
Both Venezuela and Peru will be keen to avoid defeat. Peru will want to get over their recent stumble and also add on to their impressive World Cup performance. Peru should win this match and go on to finish second in Group A.
Written by Banele Pikwa
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