The opening game of the 2019 Copa América sees hosts and eight-time winners Brazil take on one-time champions Bolivia. Hosts of this tournament on just four occasions, Brazil have nonetheless claimed the trophy on each of those occasions, winning their opening game three times and drawing one.
Indeed in the modern era since 1975, Brazil have never lost their opening Copa América game anywhere to a CONMEBOL side (W11, D3). What’s more, the ‘Seleção’ have never lost to Bolivia outside of Bolivia (W16, D2), whilst scoring a whopping 77 goals against them (4.28 AGPG) in such games, and conceding just eight!
In their ten (friendly) games since the World Cup, Brazil have won nine and drawn one, keeping a clean sheet in all but two. That’s in direct contrast to Bolivia, who are on a dreadful run of just one win in 16 games (D7, L8). Nine of those games actually saw them fail to score, while only one saw them score first.
Furthermore, Bolivia’s record in the opening game of this tournament is abysmal, winning just one of their last 14 openers (D8, L5), which incidentally was against Brazil, but at altitude in La Paz.
Players to watch: In the absence of Neymar, Brazil will look to Gabriel Jesus for goals. Ten of the twelve games he’s netted in have seen Brazil shutout the opposition.
Marcelo Martins Moreno was the last Bolivian player to score against Brazil back in 2009. Twelve of the 14 Bolivia games he scored in saw both teams score, while 11 of his strikes were either as the first or last goalscorer.
Stat attack: Brazil haven’t conceded a goal on home soil in eight games – scoring 26.
Five of Bolivia’s last six games saw under 2.5 goals.
The last three H2Hs with goals have seen one side strike within the opening 12 minutes.
Bolivia haven’t scored a first-half goal in the last six H2Hs played in Brazil.
Will not play
Sagredo C. J. M.
Referee: Pitana N. (Arg),
Venue: Estádio do Morumbi (Sao Paulo)