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Copa America

  • July 17, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: S. Pezzotta
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PEN
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Paraguay won 2 - 0 on penalties

Copa America preview: Brazil - Paraguay

Copa America preview: Brazil - Paraguay

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The Selecao stumble into this quarter-final showdown against Gerardo Martino's men for a place in the semis, having come close to a defeat against the Guarani earlier in Group B


PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, David Luiz, Andre Santos; Lucas Leiva, Ramires; Robinho, Ganso, Neymar; Alexandre Pato

Mano Menezes looks set to to be without Thiago Silva for the clash against Paraguay. The AC Milan defender is struggling with a right thigh muscle injury and missed out on Friday training with the team, instead going through a session with the physio. David Luiz is expected to replace Thiago Silva in the heart of a somewhat leaky defence, whilst Mano also has the luxury of Luisao - a member of the past two Copa America-winning sides - in the squad to partner Lucio. Maicon, who caught the eye with an assured performance in the 4-2 win over Ecuador, will also be likely to be given the nod ahead of the unimpressive Daniel Alves as the Selecao look to seal a semi-final spot.

Paraguay: Villar; Piris, Da Silva, Veron, Torres; Barreto, Ortigoza, Riveros, Estigarribia; Santa Cruz, Barrios

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino is sweating on the fitness of key striker Roque Santa Cruz. The Blackburn forward was forced off during the thrilling 3-3 draw with Venezuela and was replaced by Nelson Haedo Valdez. The tactician, who is due to leave his post following the Copa America, added: "We will give it another day and wait on the results of tests."



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Brazil are the defending champions of the Copa America, having won in Venezuela in 2007.
  • The Selecao qualified for the quarter finals in unconvincing fashion, having been held to draws against the Guarani and Venezuela, before coming out on top in a thrilling 4-2 win against Ecuador.
  • Neymar and Pato both chipped in with a brace of goals as Brazil qualified as Group B winners.
  • The winner of this tie faces a semi-final showdown against Chile or Venezuela in Mendoza on July 20.
  • Mano Menezes' men are unbeaten in six games, since a 1-0 reverse to France in Paris in February.
  • Paraguay qualified by virtue of being one of two best third-placed sides. 
  • The Guarani are yet to taste victory in the 2011 Copa America, having been held to a draw in all three of their group games.
  • However, Gerardo Martino's men - who came close to defeating Brazil in this year's tournament before being pegged back by a 90th-minute equaliser, have history in winning against the Selecao in the Copa, doing so en route to topping their group in 2004.
  • Roque Santa Cruz has become the joint all-time leading scorer of his nation, having grabbed a record-equalling 25th strike against Brazil in the 2-2 draw earlier in the group stages. The record, taken from Jose Cardozo, had stood for six years.

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Players to watch

Alexandre Pato

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The AC Milan hitman has come to life in the third group game, scoring two of his side's four goals. Pato will again hope to cause a stir against Paraguay, having being mediocre when the two sides met. His positioning and incisive finishing could well be prove to be Paraguay's undoing.

M. Estigarribia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The Newells midfielder put in an impressive performance when the two sides met last week in the group stages. The left winger constantly got the better of the defenders on the flanks with the Brazilians having to keep an eye on him if they are to come out on top in La Plata.

Editor's Prediction

Despite a rather indifferent start to the tournament, the Selecao have sprung into life with an assured display against Ecuador. Neymar and Pato finally look to have found the goals having struck four between them. A slender win for Mano's men looks to be the most likely outcome, with Paraguay looking set to be without Roque Santa Cruz to trouble a dodgy Brazilian backline.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Brazil

Paraguay

Wins
1
2
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Brazil BRA
Brazil Brazil
Draw
Paraguay PRY
Paraguay Paraguay
81%

Top 3 Predictions

Brazil BRA
3 - 1
Paraguay PRY
Brazil BRA
2 - 1
Paraguay PRY
Brazil BRA
2 - 0
Paraguay PRY

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