Brazil to sign off in style at home
Brazil v Chile
Live on Premier Sports UK
It’s been a very straightforward qualifying campaign for Brazil, especially on home soil, winning six of their seven matches, drawing the other against Ecuador. Having scored 19 goals and only conceding once from a corner, Chile’s task of collecting three points looks near impossible.
The fact Brazil have already qualified for Qatar and the need for Chile to collect valuable points has certainly been reflected in the price, with the hosts currently at 4/9. With a crowd behind them, and this their last competitive fixture before Qatar, the five-time World Cup winners will want to put on a show for their fans.
Chile face Uruguay in their final group game, which is their “do or die” match to make it to Qatar, and they’ll see any points against Brazil as a bonus. Sadly, this isn’t a scenario I foresee.
Brazil have been the masters of clean sheets on home soil, and a win to nil at 2.01/1 is very much worth chancing once again.
Goals and three points required
Colombia v Bolivia
Live on Freesports
It’s been a bitterly disappointing campaign for Colombia, with far too many draws leaving their World Cup hopes out of their hands. Sitting in seventh spot, with a four-point gap between themselves and Peru, this is a must win match for the home side.
However, they could not have picked better opponents themselves.
Bolivia have failed to win any of their last 52 World Cup qualifiers away from home and have shipped 25 goals in just eight matches during this campaign.
Goals have been hard to come by for Colombia. Three 0-0 draws followed by a defeat to Peru means that they have played over 360 minutes since their last goal at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez. Even Liverpool’s Luis Diaz is on a 646-minute drought for his nation.
But Bolivia are poor. They are certainly no Brazil or Ecuador who have come to Colombia and bee able to leave with a valuable point in the latter stages of qualifying.
Colombia need three points to stand a chance of qualifying for Qatar, but they also need to improve their goal difference, which could be crucial come next week.
With Luis Muriel, Alfredo Morelos and James Rodriguez within their ranks, I’m backing Colombia to turn on the style their fans so desperately crave.
Colombia to be winning at half-time and over 2.5 match goals can be backed with the Bet Builder @ 1.824/5.
Cagey affair anticipated in Montevideo
Uruguay v Peru
Live on Premier Sports UK
Fourth meets fifth on Thursday evening, with a win for either Uruguay or Peru guaranteeing them a World Cup spot in Qatar. Stakes are high, to state the obvious.
Despite fairly strong home form, Peru head into this encounter slightly under the radar, when is comes to their overall performance, especially away from home.
Peru have accumulated ten points on the road, only less than Brazil and Argentina and after a phenomenal 1-0 victory away to Colombia, they are just one victory away from a top five finish.
The away side here are also on a six-game unbeaten run, with their last defeat being a narrow 1-0 loss to Argentina, and it’s worth noting Yotun missed a penalty to level up in the 65th minute.
Despite back-to-back away wins for Peru against Colombia and Venezuela, five away defeats on the bounce are concerning. However, backing Uruguay at 6/11 isn’t appealing in the slightest. A common theme throughout their defeats has been small margins, and their compact set up makes them difficult to break down.
With so much on the line, and with Peru having a glorious opportunity to land that all important win against Paraguay next, I’m backing a tight opening 45 minutes and the half-time draw at 2.01/1 offers plenty of value compared to other markers.