Brazil vs Bolivia Preview
- Date: Fri, Jun 14, 2019
- Time: 8:30 p.m. (est)
- Network: Telemundo
- Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Venue: Estadio do Morumbi
- Seating Capacity: 66,795
As hosts, Brazil will kick-off the 2019 Copa America versus Bolivia in the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paulo. Despite being favorites to lift the trophy, the hosts are under immense pressure.
The world’s most successful footballing nation are without silverware since 2007. Furthermore, star player Neymar will miss the tournament due to injury. Concentration will be key for Tite’s men from the opening whistle.
On the other hand, Bolivia will be hoping to pull off a major surprise. Tournament winners in 1963, La Verde have not accomplished anything of note in international competition since. Now, a difficult first match awaits them.
Nevertheless, head coach Eduardo Villegas will aim to get a positive result in this opener. With group matches against Peru and Venezuala to follow, a trip to the knockout rounds is possible. Especially with a draw against Brazil.
As mentioned, Neymar will not be available for Seleção. Consequently, Chelsea winger Willian replaces him the team. Although Ajax forward David Neres is most likely to be in the starting eleven Friday night.
Elsewhere, Phillipe Coutinho will provide creativity from the midfield to compensate for the loss of the PSG star. While Arthur directs flow with security given by Casemiro and Fernandinho behind him in midfield.
In defense, veteran fullbacks Dani Alves and Filipe Luis are likely to be chosen over their younger colleagues. Providing experience and leadership in a squad that will need it to cope with pressure.
Meanwhile, Bolivia are without the drama of injured star players or star players in general. Villegas’ men are mostly a young and inexperienced squad with most men having less than 10 appearances for their country.
Undoubtedly, Marcelo Martins will lead the team as its most experienced member and top scorer. The 31-year old currently plays in China with Shijiazhuang Ever Bright and is his team’s main threat on goal.
Furthermore, the striker is on course to be his nation’s highest ever scorer needing 3 more to equal Joaquin Botero’s 20 goals. Accompanying Montero will likely be the same lineup that faced France in preparation for this tournament.
Lineups and Prediction (Brazil vs Bolivia Preview)
Brazil: Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Luis; Arthur, Fernandinho; Richarlison, Coutinho, Neres; Jesus
Bolivia: Lampe; D Bejarano, Haquin, Jusino, M Bejarano; Castro, Galindo; Saavedra, Justiniano, Chumacero; Martins
There is no great mystery to this match. Tite’s Brazilian squad is simply the better team on paper and on the field. Anything but a victory for the hosts would be a shocking and exciting start to the 2019 edition of this tournament.
Expect Bolivia to play it safe while hoping to get the goal they need. Although huge underdogs, the once upon a time champions are capable defenders. Having proven so by holding a star studded France to 2 goals a week ago.
However, defense may avoid embarrassment but not defeat.
Prediction: Brazil 4 – 0 Bolivia
Written by Chris Cartwright
Photo credit to CBF_Futebol via Twitter