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Jun 18, 2021 at 1am UK
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Preview: Peru vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Peru vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa America clash between Peru and Brazil, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Brazil will look to continue their perfect start to the 2021 Copa America on Friday, when they take on Peru in Rio de Janeiro in a replay of the 2019 final.

The host nation began their defence of the trophy with a dominant 3-0 victory over Venezuela, while their opponents will take on the pre-tournament favourites in their first game of this year's edition of the continental competition, as they look to defy the odds and start with a win.

Match preview

With the other four sides in Group A having already turned out in Copa America action this year, Peru go into their first game hoping for a positive start to get their campaign going.

They will come into the tournament with somewhat of a renewed sense of confidence, having made a return to winning ways last time out against Ecuador in World Cup Qualifying action earlier in June.

Christian Cueva and Luis Advincula put their side two goals ahead, and a late Gonzalo Plata goal for Ecuador was not enough to take points from La Blanquirroja.

That broke a run of four straight defeats for Ricardo Gareca's men, having fallen to losses at the hands of Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia, lifting their confidence as they look to go one better than the final defeat in 2019.

In that tournament, Peru qualified from the group stage as one of the best third-placed sides before beating Uruguay on a penalty shootout and recording an eye-catching 3-0 win over Chile to reach the final.

It was the final that saw La Blanquirroja fall short, as they were outclassed by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, and Gareca's side will look for revenge after Tite's men cost them their third title.

Brazil had the perfect start to this year's Copa America, as they thrashed Venezuela 3-0 in Brasilia.

Marquinhos opened the scoring in the 23rd minute as he pounced on a loose ball in the box from a corner to sweep past Joel Graterol, before Neymar doubled their lead soon after the hour mark from the penalty spot.

It was the second scorer who was again the hero for their third goal, as Neymar rounded the goalkeeper and set Gabriel Barbosa up to finish into an open net to add a third goal in the dying minutes.

That was the first game in their attempt to defend the Copa America title, having lifted the trophy for the ninth time in 2019.

In that triumph, the Verde-Amarela cruised through the group stage and went on to beat Paraguay on a penalty shootout, before Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino fired them to a 2-0 win over Argentina in the semi-final.

They then took on Friday's opponents in the final, as Everton, Jesus and Richarlison got on the scoresheet to secure the trophy.

It is hard to argue that the home nations do not come into this tournament as favourites, and they will hope to record another victory to all but book their place in the final eight, as they aim to go all the way and win the title once again.

Peru form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Brazil Copa America form:
  • W

Brazil form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Peru have entered somewhat of a transition period, with Ricardo Gareca opting to omit key experienced players like Raul Ruidiaz and Paolo Guerrero, with priority instead placed on developing young talent.

While their younger squad members will look to flourish on the big stage, they may initially call on the much-needed experience of midfielder Christian Cueva, who has hit 11 goals in 72 international caps.

Sergio Pena should also feature going forward, having hit seven goals and two assists in the Eredivisie for Emmen last season.

Brazil are blessed with plenty of options all over the pitch, but Tite has no real reason to shuffle his pack after a solid showing in their opening game.

Neymar will once again be the key man in the attack having registered a goal and an assist last time out, while he should again be joined by Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus despite Gabriel Barbosa's goal off the bench in that game.

At the other end of the pitch, Real Madrid's Eder Militao and Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos should continue their partnership at the heart of the back four, having looked assured on Sunday while the latter hit the opening goal.

They will be shielded by Real Madrid enforcer Casemiro, who was quick to snuff out any danger against Venezuela.

Peru possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Advincula, Ramos, Abram, Lopez; Tapia, Yotun; Carillo, Pena, Cueva; Lapadula

Brazil possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Danilo, Militao, Marquinhos, Lodi; Casemiro, Fred, Paqueta; Neymar, Jesus, Richarlison

We say: Peru 0-3 Brazil

Although Peru may come into this tournament feeling positive, they should not have enough to get past the defending champions, who are expected to lift the trophy once again.

The host nation looked relentless in their opening game, and if they can continue to click, they should earn another comfortable win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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