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Preview: Venezuela vs. Peru - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Copa America clash between Venezuela and Peru, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the final round of fixtures in the Copa America group stage, Venezuela and Peru do battle with the outcome likely deciding who progresses to the final eight.

With four teams progressing out of the group of five, Peru occupy third spot on four points, while their opponents currently sit at the foot of the group with two points, although they only trail Ecuador on goal difference.


Match preview

Peru's Gianluca Lapadula and teammates look dejected after the match on November 14, 2020© Reuters

Venezuela come into this knowing that they require at least a point to progress to the quarter-finals, unless a major goal difference swing occurs with Ecuador suffering a heavier defeat than Jose Peseiro's men.

They suffered a crushing defeat in their opening game, as they took on a heavily-fancied Brazil side, with goals from Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa firing the host nation to a 3-0 victory.

However, they bounced back quickly to earn a point in another tough clash, as La Vinotinto stood strong to hold Colombia to a goalless draw in Goiania.

Peseiro's men then earned another point in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Ecuador, having come from behind.

Edson Castillo equalised for his side early in the second half after Ayrton Preciado put Ecuador ahead, but their opponents retook the lead through Gonzalo Plata with 10 minutes to go and looked set to send Venezuela home empty-handed until Ronald Hernandez netted a 91st-minute equaliser to keep La Vinotinto in the fight for a top-four finish.

With a two-point gap between themselves and Sunday's opponents, while only trailing Ecuador by two in the goal difference column, Peseiro's men will know that a win guarantees them a spot in the quarter-finals, although a draw could be enough to leapfrog Ecuador considering La Tricolor have a tough clash with group leaders Brazil.

Their opponents have a much clearer task, as they simply need to avoid defeat to confirm their passage to the knockout stage.

Venezuela's Josef Martínez celebrates scoring their first goal with Romulo Otero and Jefferson Savarino later disallowed after a VAR review on June 8, 2021© Reuters

Peru have collected a commendable tally of four points from their three games so far, putting them in a strong position to qualify out of their group, while it may already be enough considering Ecuador's difficult final game.

They started with a tough encounter with Brazil, as Alex Sandro and Neymar gave the pre-tournament favourites a two-goal lead before Everton Ribeiro and Richarlison scored late goals to rub salt in the wounds of Peru.

Los Incas bounced back well though, as they recorded an impressive 2-1 win over Colombia in their second outing.

They took an early lead through Sergio Pena, but Miguel Borja drew Colombia level from the penalty spot before a Yerry Mina own goal restored Peru's lead and saw them pick up three crucial points in the group.

Ricardo Gareca's side then fought from behind against Ecuador last time out to earn a point and all but confirm their place in the quarter-finals.

Their opponents went into half time with a two-goal lead through a Renato Tapia own goal and a Preciado finish, but Peru replied quickly after the break as Gianluca Lapadula pulled a goal back before Andre Carrillo netted the equaliser in the 54th minute, with the game ending level.

While they are at risk of dropping out if they lose and Ecuador pick up an unlikely win, Los Incas will instead look upwards, as a point would see them leapfrog Colombia and move up to second spot, potentially earning a more favourable quarter-final draw.

Venezuela Copa America form:
  • L
  • D
  • D

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

Peru Copa America form:
  • L
  • W
  • D

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



Team News

Christian Cueva pictured for Peru in November 2020© Reuters

Venezuela are expected to remain without a long list of key players after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp at the beginning of the tournament, with Peseiro having to call up a new crop of players as a result.

The absentees include talismanic forward Josef Martinez and important defenders Mikel Villanueva and Roberto Rosales.

In their absence, Fernando Aristeguieta has led the line while Adrian Martinez, Jose Velazquez and Luis Mago could again line up at the heart of a back five.

Peru are without key forwards for a different reason, as Gareca opted to omit both Raul Ruidiaz and record scorer Paolo Guerrero from his Copa America squad.

Gianluca Lapadula has led the line in their absence, and he netted his first goal of the tournament in the draw with Ecuador.

Meanwhile, the trio of Sergio Pena, Christian Cueva and Andre Carrillo have been crucial in supporting the new forward, having been responsible for three of Peru's four goals so far.

Venezuela possible starting lineup:
Farinez; Gonzalez, Mago, A Martinez, Velazquez, Cumana; J Martinez, Moreno, Castillo, Casseres; Aristeguieta

Peru possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Corzo, Ramos, Callens, Trauco; Yotun, Tapia; Carrillo, Pena, Cueva; Lapadula


SM words green background

We say: Venezuela 1-1 Peru

Peru arguably boast the slightly stronger of the two squads given the circumstances around Venezuela, but with the need for a result, we see La Vinotinto digging deep for a result.

While they lack the firepower to put Los Incas to the sword, Peseiro's men have shown resilience to draw two consecutive games against the odds, and that could see them to another vital point in their bid to get over the line and finish in the top four.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data


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How you voted: Venezuela vs Peru

Venezuela
16.7%
Draw
29.2%
Peru
54.2%
120
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Venezuela's Josef Martínez celebrates scoring their first goal with Romulo Otero and Jefferson Savarino later disallowed after a VAR review on June 8, 2021
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