The 46th Copa America is into the quarterfinals and all of the pre-tournament favorites are still alive. The four quarterfinal games are Brazil vs Paraguay, Venezuela vs Argentina, Colombia vs Chile and Uruguay vs Peru. The first quarterfinal, taking place on Thursday, is host nation Brazil taking on Paraguay.
Brazil, an eight time champion of the Copa America, have advanced to this stage of the Copa America in 33 of their 35 appearances in this tournament and have rebounded nicely after a terrible campaign during the 2016 Copa America. The last two times Brazil have made the quarterfinals, in 2011 and 2015, they were eliminated from the tournament, but previously were on a run of four championships in five tournaments.
Paraguay, the two time Copa America champions, have advanced to the quarterfinals for the 30th time in their 35th appearance. The last two times Paraguay have made the quarterfinal stage they fell in the semifinal stage, in 2015, and finished as runner-up in 2011.
Who will be the Copa America semifinalist? Below is my pick for Brazil vs Paraguay.
Brazil (-556) vs Paraguay (+1200): Draw (+600)
Brazil had an up and down group stage as they looked sloppy, and lazy, in a 3-0 win over Bolivia in their opener and then followed that up with a 0-0 draw against Venezuela. The Brazilian’s may have turned a corner in their final group game, a 5-0 drubbing of Peru, that saw five different goal scorers and a defense that allowed just two shots on goal.
Paraguay is somehow through to the quarterfinals after not securing a single win and scoring just four goals. Paraguay opened the tournament with a 2-2 draw in Qatar, then drew 1-1 to Argentina, before falling 1-0 to Colombia in their final group stage game.
The host nation goes through to the semifinals.
These two teams have played 29 times in the Copa America and Brazil holds a 12-10-7 record while scoring 58 goals and conceding just 30.
The two teams have played 80 times in their history and it is Brazil who holds a 48-19-13 advantage.
YTD Soccer Results: 96-87