MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 07:16:47| >> :600:1638070:1638070:
Jun 24, 2021 at 1am UK
BrazilBrazil
2-1
ColombiaColombia
Firmino (78'), Casemiro (90+10')
Sandro (14'), Ribeiro (27'), Neymar (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Diaz (10')
Cuadrado (70'), Ospina (81'), Barrios (90+9'), Cuellar (90+12')

Preview: Brazil vs. Colombia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Copa America clash between Brazil and Colombia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

As the Copa America group stage continues, the two top sides in Group B lock horns on Thursday as host nation Brazil take on Colombia in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil lead the group having won both of their opening two games, while their opponents sit second after a somewhat underwhelming start to the campaign, including a 2-1 defeat to Peru last time out.


Match preview

Brazil's Neymar celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on June 13, 2021© Reuters

Brazil come into this game having had the perfect start to their defence of the Copa America title, after they lifted the trophy for the ninth time in 2019.

They started the campaign with a 3-0 victory over Venezuela, as centre-back Marquinhos opened the scoring before Neymar doubled their lead on the hour mark and set Gabriel Barbosa up to add a third in the dying minutes.

Tite's men showed no signs of slowing down in their next match either, as they thrashed Peru 4-0 in Rio de Janeiro.

Left-back Alex Sandro put the Selecao ahead in the 12th minute, and they remained one goal up until Neymar added a second after the hour mark, and Everton Ribeiro and Richarlison would go on to net late goals to cap off another strong day at the office.

Having now won their last nine matches in all competitions, Brazil stand as strong favourites to lift the title on home turf, with the tournament moved away from Argentina and Colombia at short notice due to concerns around COVID-19.

They will look to add a third victory in as many matches to all but confirm their finish at the top of the group, giving them a favourable quarter-final draw.

Meanwhile, their opponents will still feel like they have some work to do in the group stage, as they go into their last match.

Colombia's Edwin Cardona celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on June 13, 2021© Reuters

Although they do sit second in the group, Colombia have somewhat failed to impress so far at the tournament, accumulating four points from their opening three group matches.

They did begin with a win, though, as Edwin Cardona netted the only goal of the game in a narrow victory over Ecuador in Cuiaba.

Reinaldo Rueda's men were then held to a disappointing result in a goalless draw with a resilient Venezuela outfit, as their opponents played with a makeshift squad following a coronavirus outbreak within the squad.

Most recently, they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of a struggling Peru side, who went into the game on the back of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil.

The Tricolor fell behind early as Sergio Pena netted a 17th-minute opener for Peru, and Miguel Borja's equaliser from the penalty spot was quickly followed by an own goal from centre-back Yerry Mina to restore their opponents' lead.

Having already played the bottom three sides in the group, Rueda's men go into a daunting game as they look to finish the group stage on a high and pick up a result to boost their chances of a high finish, with Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador sitting one, two and three points behind respectively, while Peru and Ecuador each have two matches left to play.

Brazil Copa America form:
  • W
  • W

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

Colombia Copa America form:
  • W
  • D
  • L

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



Team News

Neymar celebrates scoring for Brazil on June 17, 2021© Reuters

Given their impressive depth and quality, Brazil were able to rotate heavily between the two opening group games, with the likes of Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson, Liverpool's Fabinho and Chelsea's Thiago Silva all coming into the side for the Peru match.

We could see that rotation continue on Thursday, with Richarlison, Casemiro and Marquinhos all potentially lined up to start.

Meanwhile, talisman Neymar should remain a fixture in the front line, having hit two goals and an assist in the opening two games, making him one of the standout performers across the tournament so far.

Rueda may have to shake up his side for a different reason, after another disappointing performance from Colombia last time out.

Although Miguel Borja did find the net from the penalty spot, he did not look too threatening in open play, with none of the other players in the front line particularly catching eyes either.

That could warrant a return to the side for Atalanta forward Luis Muriel, with the spots of Borja, Duvan Zapata and Edwin Cardona all at risk to some extent.

At the other end of the pitch, Yerry Mina should keep his spot despite an own goal last time out, with the Everton man expected to continue his partnership with Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Davinson Sanchez at the heart of the back four.

Dynamic midfielder Wilmar Barrios has been arguably their best player in the first three games, and he will play a crucial role in front of the defensive line as they take on one of the tournament's strongest attacks.

Porto duo Mateus Uribe and Luis Diaz will return from suspensions to offer different options for Rueda, and Diaz may be given his first start of the tournament on the left-hand side given their lack of attacking threat so far in the group stage.

Brazil possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Danilo, Militao, Marquinhos, Sandro; Richarlison, Fabinho, Casemiro, Everton; Neymar, Jesus

Colombia possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Medina, Sanchez, Mina, Tesillo; Cuadrado, Barrios, Cuellar, Uribe, Diaz; Muriel


SM words green background

We say: Brazil 2-0 Colombia

Brazil come into the game with plenty of momentum and confidence, and they should have too much for Colombia on Thursday as they look to all but confirm their first-placed finish in the group.

Having not conceded a goal while scoring seven in their opening two games, the host nation will look to carry on their fine form against a Colombia side who are yet to kick into gear in this tournament.



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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How you voted: Brazil vs Colombia

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Colombia
11.2%
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Brazil players celebrate scoring on June 5, 2021
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Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

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