Topping the group, Colombia (W2, GD: 3:0) have despatched both Qatar and Argentina ‘to nil’ and are on a four-game winning run including friendlies. Despite losing 2-1 in the last H2H meeting in World Cup (WC) 2018 qualifying, Colombia has won five of their last six matchups.
Losing just one pre-tournament friendly (W6, D1), ‘Los Cafeteros’ haven’t conceded in four games – a good return for Carlos Queiroz (W5, L1) and a Colombia team which saw both teams score in 60.0% of ten games previous (in all competitions). However, it’s worth noting that Colombia has a sketchy competitive record since Copa America (CA) 2016 (inc. qualifiers) – whilst winning eight games since, they’ve drawn five matches and lost five (four by 2-1 AET).
Second place for good reason, Paraguay held Qatar/Argentina to score draws and are unbeaten in four games – a fitting motif for their all-time CA record (W22, D30, L21). Interestingly, Paraguay has lost 11 games by a one-goal margin since CA 2016 and has shipped four or more goals in five matches since (including friendlies).
However, winning just five competitive matches since the 2016 CA (L7), ‘Los Guaraníes’ have it all to do to claim just their fifth H2H win since WC 2002 qualifying (D1, L9). But Paraguay will be highly-motivated here as anything but a win could see Argentina steal second place if they beat Qatar!
Players to watch: Duván Zapata (COL) has scored in three straight international appearances and scored 28 goals in all competitions for Atalanta last season.
Oscar Cardozo (PAR) scored a penalty in his last appearance whilst scoring an 89th-minute equalizer in the last H2H meeting.
Stat attack: Colombia has failed to score in just 7.14% of 14 previous games.
In 11 previous H2H meetings, ten matches have finished 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1!
Both teams have scored in 66.67% of Paraguay’s last 12 matches.
The last six H2H meetings have seen 30 yellow cards in total (two dismissals).
Will not play
Venue: Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador)