The 2019 Copa America gets underway on Friday as host Brazil takes on Bolivia in Sao Paulo
Brazil Team News
Amanhã é dia de estreia!
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) June 13, 2019
On all four previous occasions that they have welcomed the rest of South America to their shores they have gone on to win the trophy – in 1919, 1922, 1949 and most recently in 1989.
Thirty years is a long time to wait for a major trophy on home soil, and the demand for Brazil to succeed this summer is immense considering they have not made it past the quarter-finals in the past three editions – having won four of the previous five tournaments before that.
Tite’s side are also without talisman Neymar, who has been ruled out of the entire tournament due to an ankle injury, and so there will be plenty of pressure on them to get off to a good start this weekend.
Tite can move Philippe Coutinho into the offensive trio as a result of Neymar’s absence but may keep the Barcelona ace in midfield and start Ajax starlet David Neres.
Premier League rivals Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino are in competition to lead the line for Brazil this summer, with the former expected to get the nod in the tournament’s curtain raiser.
Alisson and Filipe Luis are expected to edge Ederson and Alex Sandro in goal and at left-back, respectively. Dani Alves was appointed Brazil captain in the build-up to the tournament and will start at right-back.
Casemiro, Allan and Fernandinho are in competition for the role as Brazil’s defensive midfielder, though the former is tipped to start against Bolivia.
Brazil predicted lineup: Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Luis; Arthur, Fernandinho; Richarlison, Coutinho, Neres; Jesus
Bolivia Team News
— FBF (@fbf_oficial) June 7, 2019
Bolivia are faced with a tough task as they face Brazil to start the Copa America campaign. Sixty places separate the two sides in FIFA’s rankings, and Bolivia will know that any result against the hosts in the opening match would already exceed their expectations for this summer’s campaign.
The only goals they have scored in their last six outings since October 2018 came in a draw with minnows Nicaragua, failing to net against UAE, Iraq, South Korea, Japan and France since then.
Gilbert Alvarez and Marcelo Moreno are in competition for a starting berth in their Copa America opener against Brazil. Bolivia are expected to stick with a similar XI to the one used in their build-up match against France.
Bolivia predicted lineup: Lampe; D Bejarano, Haquin, Jusino, M Bejarano; Castro, Galindo; Saavedra, Justiniano, Chumacero; Martins
It will be the 30th meeting between the pair, with Bolivia having won just five of the previous 29 compared to 20 for Brazil.
Brazil are unbeaten in their last three games against Bolivia having scored nine goals without reply in the process.
The last meeting on Brazilian soil saw the Selecao run out 5-0 winners, and Bolivia have only ever once avoided defeat away to Brazil – a 0-0 stalemate in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Bolivia have brought a very inexperienced squad to Brazil, with 11 players having won nine caps or fewer for the national team. The South American outfit have only win in their last 16 matches and that was against Myanmar in October 2018. Bolivia did hold Brazil to a 0-0 draw in 2017 in the last meeting between the two teams but that was on home soil where travelling teams typically struggle with the high altitude.
No losses: 10
Less than 2.5 goals: 6/8
First to score: 9/10
No wins: 7
No goals scored: 3
Without clean sheet: 4
Less than 2.5 goals: 5/6
First to concede: 4/5
*Odds are subject to change. Find the latest recommended odds here.