This clash could be important for both rivals in case the third position from this group leads to the knockout stage. Two best third-placed teams will qualify for the quarter-finals and they will unlikely finish among the top two teams in the group. Even though it’s early, this encounter can be vital for Paraguay and Qatar.
Paraguay vs. Qatar
• Copa America
• Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Sunday 16 June
• 21:00 CET
Paraguay Team News
Paraguay won two Copa America trophies so far (1953 and 1979) and have 15 medals in total, which is quite impressive. The last time they were on the podium was in 2011 when Los Guaraníes fell short to Uruguay in the final. However, they failed to get through the group stage at the previous tournament.
Head coach Eduardo Berizzo has a squad capable of beating every team in this group. Veteran Oscar Cardozo is the leader of this generation and he scored 11 goals for country while the rest f the team combined for only 18. Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almirón, Espanyol midfielder Hernán Pérez, and West Ham United defender Fabián Balbuena are also playing a key role in this squad.
Paraguay Latest Form
Paraguay recorded only one victory in seven friendlies (W1, D2, L4) in the build-up to this Copa America opener, and whilst the South Americans are favorites here, they will have to play their best game to beat the debutant.
Despite being without a win in their last five Copa America games(D1, L4), Paraguay know to open this tournament, last losing their first group game back in 1975 (W8, D6 since). If they are to continue that impressive record here, they will likely start well – Los Guaraníes have been leading after the first 45 minutes in four of their previous six wins.
Qatar Team News
Qatar got an invitation to compete at the 2019 Copa America for the first time in history following their success at the Asian Cup this year, which was their first ever major trophy. They don’t have experience playing at Copa America but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to play football and in case Paraguay underestimates them, Qatar strike on the other end.
All of 23 players are playing in the domestic league and although we don’t know much about them, there are several prolific players in the squad. Captain Hassan Al-Haydos scored 28 goals for Qatar while his attacking colleagues Akram Afif and Almoez Ali combined for 31 goals. Midfielders Boualem Khoukhi and Ali Afif scored 26 goals between themselves while full-back Abdelkarim Hassan can also be a menace in the opposing box.
Qatar Latest Form
Qatar’s 2-0 defeat to Brazil earlier in June snapped a seven-game winning streak, with six of those wins coming to nil, and the last two seeing them leading after the opening 45 minutes.
The Gulf nation has allowed more than two goals in a fixture just once in their previous 29 matches. Asian Cup top scorer Almoez Ali scored five of his nine tournament goals before half-time. There have been two first-half goals in each of Qatar’s last three matches while there’s been at least one goal after the 75th minute in four of Qatar’s last five competitive games.
Paraguay vs. Qatar Head to Head
The rivals have met only once before and it was in a friendly tilt when Qatar upset favored Paraguay and booked a 2-0 win in 2009.
Paraguay vs. Qatar Betting Tip
Paraguay allowed at least a goal in nine of their last ten matches while they scored in five of the previous six games. Qatar, on the other hand, scored in eight of their last nine matches and the only time they failed to hit the net was in a 2-0 loss to Brazil a week ago after Boualem Khoukhi missed from the penalty spot in added time. The Maroons are playing eye-catching football and I expect goals on both ends here, so you can go with both teams to score at excellent 2.20 (+120) odds.