Paraguay vs Qatar
Competition: Copa America
Date: 16 June 2019
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Paraguay faced Guatemala something less than a week ago, in a friendly game which they won 2-0, their first victory in seven matches. All were friendlies, all the previous ones had been against stronger – than Guatemala – teams, but even that 2-0 over the Central Americans was a boost for Paraguay, who… remembered what it feels like to win a game. Coach Eduardo Berizzo showed these last days that he had no doubt regarding nine of the 11 spots in the starting lineup, but he did have doubts regarding who will start as right and left-back. Roberto Junior Fernández, Juan Escobar (or Iván Piris), Bruno Valdez, Fabián Balbuena, Iván Torres (or Santiago Arzamendia), Rodrigo Rojas, Celso Ortiz, Miguel Almirón, Derlis González, Óscar Cardozo and Cecilio Domínguez, this is how Paraguay should start the game with those two “or”, regarding two specific positions. Paraguay have won the title twice, but the most recent time was 40 years ago.
Unlike Paraguay who just won their first game since… ever, Qatar’s defeat in their last match was the first in eight matches. Then again, it was against Brazil, on Brazilian soil, a 2-0, which is mostly remembered as the game in which Neymar got injured, getting ruled out of the tournament. Be reminded, Qatar are the reigning AFC champions, having beaten Japan 3-1 in the final, in the UAE, the first day of February. Unlike Japan who decided to travel to Brazil for this Copa América edition with their Olympic team, Qatar have their best players available. Having written that, a good number of those present in the roster are young, and their coach, Spaniard Félix Sánchez, was very clear about their target in this competition, learn things about themselves, their progress, playing against rivals much stronger than those in Asia. A few days ago it was announced that Qatar, along with Australia, will be the invited non-CONMEBOL teams in next year’s Copa América edition, which will be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia.
Previous five matches:
Paraguay vs Guatemala 2-0
Paraguay vs Honduras 1-1
Mexico vs Paraguay 4-2
Peru vs Paraguay 1-0
South Africa vs Paraguay 1-1
Brazil vs Qatar 2-0
Japan vs Qatar 1-3
Qatar vs UAE 4-0
South Korea vs Qatar 0-1
Qatar vs Iraq 1-0
Paraguay are facing Argentina on Wednesday. Same day, Qatar will play against Colombia.
Paraguay vs Qatar: Head to head Stats
Paraguay and Qatar have played against each other on neutral ground just once before, in 2009; it was a friendly game, which Qatar won 2-0.
Paraguay vs Qatar: Prediction
I expect Paraguay to win the game.
Paraguay vs Qatar: Betting Tips
Paraguay’s win is at 1.75. Combined with “over 1.5”, it pays 2.40.