Copa America 2019: Quarterfinal - Brazil vs Paraguay, Match Preview
The group stages have come to a close in the Copa America and we are now down to only eight teams. The opening quarter-final sees Hosts and group A winner's Brazil, play Paraguay who scraped through in third place on goal difference.
Kick-off time: 27 June 2019, 21:30 local time ( 28 June 2019 IST, 07:00 AM, BST 01:30)
Venue: Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
Brazil go into the game as huge favourites. After a slow start against Bolivia, where their fans even booed them off the field and a frustrating draw with Venezuela, the Brazilians finally gave their fans something to cheer about with an impressive 5-0 victory over Peru. The result against Peru means they go into the game against Paraguay with confidence - something they haven’t had a lot of in recent times.
Brazil will be very confident that they can get through this tie, and break down Paraguay, but they will have to be wary of the threat Paraguay poses on the counter-attack, even though they should have enough in their tank to progress to the semifinal stage.
On the other hand, Paraguay will be hoping to spoil the host’s party and cause a major upset. Paraguay are yet to win a match, following two draws and a defeat, which was enough to take them through to the knockouts on goal difference following Japan’s draw with Ecuador. They have played fairly average in their games so far.
In their last match against Colombia, they were poor and struggled to cope with Colombia’s attacking threat, although the pressure was on Paraguay in that game as Colombia had already qualified. This time it will be different as all the pressure will be on the hosts which will take the weight of Paraguay's back. They can try to frustrate Brazil just like Venezuela did and play on the counter-attack. Their defence will be key in this game if they are to gain a positive outcome.
Paraguay do have history in knocking Brazil out at this stage. The last two times they have met in the Copa America were during the quarterfinal stage in 2011 and 2015, where the Paraguayans caused an upset on both occasions by winning on penalties.
Brazil fans will know this and they will be hoping that they can put this bad record to bed. If the game does go to penalties, beware Brazil fans!