The Copa America 2021 returns to action Friday night as Chile and Paraguay lock horns at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia.
Looking for their first continental success since 2016, Chile have already sealed a place in knockouts after avoiding defeat in their initial three Group A matches.
Meanwhile, Paraguay were able to join the Chileans and Argentina in the quarter-finals with a victory here.
Despite a poor goal-scoring return of three goals from as many Copa America 2021 matches, the Chileans have qualified for the quarter-finals with one game left.
Identical 1-1 draw with Argentina and Uruguay accompanied by a narrow 1-0 win over Bolivia has been enough for Chile to reach the Copa America knockout phase for the sixth time in a row.
Martin Lasarte’s men have found the net in 11 consecutive international appearances, with each of their three goals scored at the continental tournament so far arriving before the 60th minute.
Still, entertainment has been sparse in Chile’s recent matches, as each of the last five contained under 2.5 total goals, which is in line with an average of 1.83 goals per game. Group A match in general.
Atletico MG striker Eduardo Vargas has scored two of his team’s three goals at the Copa America 2021, including an opening goal against Uruguay last time.
Vargas’ companion in the final third, Ben Brereton, opened his international account with a winning strike against Bolivia on the 2nd day of the 31-year-old’s assistant.
That Black burnt Rovers star that has been associated with Leeds United, returned during Chile’s 1-1 draw with Uruguay and exchanged a perfect one-two with his senior international colleague for the La Rojas opener.
The Paraguayans have failed to build on a 3-1 comeback victory over Bolivia in the 1st match and they have undergone a tight 1-0 defeat to Argentina last time.
Particularly vulnerable in the early stages of the game, the Los Guaranies have recorded both of their goals conceded at the Copa America 2021 so far in the 10th minute.
In fact, Paraguayans with slow starts afterwards are within the first 15 minutes of play in each of their last three international tours.
With qualifying hopes firmly in their own hands, Paraguay would like to avoid finishing fourth in Group A as it will place them against Brazil in the quarter-finals.
However, a victory against Bolivia in their Copa America opener remains Paraguay’s lone success in six matches (D3, L2), a sequence that saw them pull a plot three times.
Newcastle United star Miguel Almiron has not missed a minute of Copa America action this summer, but without any influence.
The 27-year-old, who made his international debut against Chile in September 2015, will be desperate to break a goal drought for eight matches for the national team.
Paraguay’s most important goal source in recent times has been Angel Romero. The San Lorenzo striker has scored four of his side’s last six goals, two of them from the spot.
Chile vs Paraguay Head-to-Head
The Paraguayans have ended up on the winning side in their last two meetings with Chile and each time have a lead with a goal at the break.
There has been a lot of excitement in recent meetings between these two teams, with five of the previous six having over 2.5 goals, including the last three in a row.
Chile are unbeaten in two Copa America matches against Paraguay (D1, L1), although it is worth noting that their last showdown in the tournament dates back to 2004.
Chile vs Paraguay predicted lineups
Chile (4-3-3): Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Guillermo Maripan, Eugenio Mena; Erick Pulgar, Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz; Ben Brereton, Jean Meneses, Eduardo Vargas.
Paraguay (4-2-3-1): Antony Silva; Santiago Arzamendia, Junior Alonso, Gustavo Gomez, Alberto Espinola; Robert Piris Da Motta, Mathias Villasanti; Miguel Almiron, Angel Romero, Alejandro Romero; Gabriel Avalos.