With Colombia already through to the Copa America semi-finals, Paraguay might be given an opportunity of shutting the door on Argentina and securing qualification from Group B. Form Labs breaks down the clash while as ever we bring you the value with our selection of enhanced odds.
Colombia Already Through
Colombia may have left it late, but they’re through to the knockout rounds following another strike from Duvan Zapata with the clock ticking on.
Results elsewhere mean they’ve already guaranteed first place in the group, and so Paraguay will hope Carlos Queiroz elects to rest some of his stars and face a below-strength side.
One of those who will surely make way will be James Rodriguez, whose excellent outside-of-the-boot cross delivered the breakthrough against Qatar.
However, Colombia have gone just W4-D4-L3 over 90 minutes in their past 11 fixtures when the attacking midfielder has played just one half or less, with two of those victories coming over China and Panama, whereas they’ve won each of the last seven where he’s featured for longer than that.
Although Los Cafeteros’ results haven’t been so great without their playmaker, they still found the net in eight of those 11 matches, including against the likes of Uruguay, Senegal and England.
One man who should expect to retain his place is on-fire forward Zapata, who now has three goals from as many games in national team colours following on from a fine season with club side Atalanta.
This will essentially be an audition for him to usurp veteran captain Radamel Falcao’s place in the team for the knockout rounds, with Quiroz unlikely to deviate from playing with just one striker up top, which has been his preference throughout his managerial career.
However, despite each of Zapata’s goals coming within the last five minutes of games, he came on as a substitute in two of them and we’d prefer to back him anytime rather than as last goalscorer given he could well be replaced by Falcao as the game wears on.
Colombia v Paraguay Betting Tips
Colombia may have won both their games to date, but they’ve led for a combined 23 minutes across these fixtures and Paraguay have shown enough to suggest they can be competitive against them, especially if the group winners are below full strength.
Both sides picked up victories on the road in the head-to-heads during World Cup qualifying via stoppage-time strikes, so Paraguay shouldn’t be underestimated.
However, given they’ve only emerged victorious once in their last 10 fixtures, which each of their four stalemates over this period seeing both teams find the net, the score draw appears a reasonably generous price.
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