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Bring on the knockout round of the 2021 Copa America!
After a group stage that saw just two teams get pushed out of the competition, the quarterfinals will begin on Friday night with Peru vs Paraguay and Brazil vs Chile.
Looking at Brazil vs Chile, the hosts are the easy favorites here. They not only topped their group in the tournament but also went undefeated with three wins and a draw. Chile, on the other hand, narrowly qualified for the quarterfinals with one win, two draws and a loss in the group stage.
Thanks to a setup that gave group stage teams down to 4th place a spot in the knockout round, Chile were able to sneak into the current round by just a hair. Chile are far too vulnerable and likely won’t last much longer in the Copa America.
The best odds for this match
Odds provided by PointsBet
|Brazil vs Chile Information|
|Teams||Brazil vs Chile|
|Location||Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)|
|Time||Friday, July 2nd at 8:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||FS1, TUDN, UniMas|
Let’s recap how the group stage went for both sides.
For Brazil, it was almost too easy for the current title-holders. Despite some close calls in their last two matches, they finished with more group stage goals than any other team in the competition.
In fact, they probably could have finished with more than 10 goals in four matches were it not for them already having a 1st place spot secured for Group B before their most 1-1 draw with Ecuador.
Neymar has undoubtedly been the star for Brazil, and in support, others like Casemiro, Fred, Richarlison, Eder Militao and countless others have been superb.
But what about Chile? Do the underdogs have a chance?
The good news is that they’ve been able to keep most of their recent scorelines close. Defensively, Chile have done a decent job so far.
As for their frontline though…
Three goals in their four group stage games is not exactly an ideal look.
Chile has been poor when it comes to creating dangerous chances, and when looking at xG (expected goals) numbers from Wyscout, Chile was in 7th from the 10 teams in the Copa America group stage.
With an xG of just 4.55, Chile is several steps behind Brazil who earned an xG rating of 9.91 in the first round.
Other than Eduardo Vargas and Ben Brereton, no other players within the squad have provided either a goal or assist for Chile.
There’s so much that could be said about Brazil in the attack, but as mentioned in previous articles, they are also envy for many national teams in defense.
Glancing at xGA (expected goals against), Brazil have had the top rating of the tournament so far with a tally of 1.26 over four games.
Their backline and midfield rarely give up quality chances, which is why they also have the best xG Per Shot Against tally in the competition as well.
And even if Chile somehow find a chance to sneak a goal past Brazil, odds are, they won’t be able to outplay their opponents for more than a short period of time.
It’s a simple yet obvious reason.
If Neymar is struggling, than others like Richarlison, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Barbosa and others can help with the goalscoring responsibilities.
If midfield and defensive stars such as Casemiro or Marquinhos have a rough start to a game, others like Fred, Fabinho, Thiago Silva and numerous others can step in.
Even in their goalkeeping position, which was once a source of weakness, Brazil have world-class talents like Alisson and Ederson.
Brazil have incredibly gifted backup plans for their backup plans, and in Copa America, they probably won’t have too many serious obstacles until the championship game.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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