Brazil take on Peru in a repeat of the 2019 Copa America final in Los Angeles in the early hours on Wednesday morning. The Selecao overcame Peru twice at this summer’s tournament and are favourites to make it three wins from three against Los Incas in the past three months. It has been a busy year for Brazil so far, with Wednesday’s match being their 12th outing of a season which will go down as their most successful for more than a decade. Tite’s side lifted ther first piece of international silverware since 2007 during this summer’s Copa America, beating Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Peru (twice) en route to the title.
Uruguay lost the previous two meetings with Peru. The two nations met in this year’s Copa America edition and the two time World Champions were sent home after a penalty shoot-out. The recent encounters turned out to be tight affairs, as each of the last four games were decided by one-goal margins. Two of the last five H2H clashes featured over 2,5 goals, and three witnessed goals scored at both ends. Uruguay won three of the previous four meetings on home turf, and the other ended in draw.
The United States men’s national team will try to forget about Friday’s 3-0 loss to Mexico when it takes on Uruguay in St. Louis on Tuesday in an international friendly. Gregg Berhalter’s team will be tested once again against the talented South Americans, who are loaded in defense.
Uruguay did not lose any of their last nine matches in the regular ninety minutes. Their only defeat for that period came at the hands of their next opponents from Peru in the 1/4 final meeting in Copa America. Just two of their last five games produced over 2,5 goals, while three saw both involved nations scoring.
Peru won by 1:0 their previous game against Brazil, taking revenge for the defeat in the Copa America final. Just one of the Peruvians last nine matches was won by the sides listed as hosts, as the visitors triumphed on six occasions. Two of their last five encounters featured over 2,5 goals, while only one of those witnessed goals at both ends.
Indeed, Brazil’s good form stretches all the way back to last summer’s World Cup, having won 14 and drawn three of their 17 games since their disappointing quarter-final exit at the hands of Belgium.
The five-time World Cup winners have kept 13 clean sheets in that time too, although their usually watertight defence was undone twice in their first game since the Copa America triumph when Colombia earned a 2-2 draw in Miami on Saturday.
It was matters at the other end of the field which made the headlines on that occasion, though, with Neymar returning to create one and score another on his first appearance since June.
The addition of their talisman to a squad which has already won the Copa America would make Brazil favourites against most teams in world football, and Peru must now find a way to stop a team against whom they conceded eight times during the tournament.
Ricardo Gareca’s side certainly improved as the Copa America progressed, bouncing back from their 5-0 group-stage defeat to Brazil to beat Uruguay and Chile and reach the final for the first time since 1975.
Peru have since lost back-to-back games, though, following their defeat in the final with a 1-0 reverse against Ecuador on Friday night.
That defeat was somewhat misleading, though, with Los Incas allowing just that one shot on target while creating nine chances of their own, although their failure to convert those will clearly be a concern.
Not since 2013 have Peru been beaten three times in a row and their national team is in better shape now than it has been for decades, although Wednesday’s match might still be a step too far for them to get back to winning ways.
Neymar is expected to earn his 99th Brazil cap, which will see him move above Djalma Santos and Ronaldo in the all-time list.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward’s current record stands at 61 goals in 98 games for his country – just behind Ronaldo’s record of 62 in 98 – and one more goal will leave him behind only Pele in the scoring stakes.
The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Everton Soares, Alisson Becker and Fernandinho are missing from the squad for this round of fixtures, but there is no shortage of quality with Roberto Firmino, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva among those involved.
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior could be in line for his first international appearance, while Samir and goalkeeper Ivan are the other uncapped players available to Tite.
Peru, meanwhile, are without their two most experienced players with Paolo Guerrero having pulled out of the squad and Jefferson Farfan injured.
Raul Ruidiaz is expected to lead the line in their absence, while Yoshimar Yotun will be pushing for a start after missing out against Ecuador.