Chess match expected in first half
Venezuela v Peru
I must admit when I first looked at this fixture I thought Peru held some value at odds against. Despite losing their last five “away” matches, all can be justified to some extent. Two defeats to Brazil, including in the Copa America, Argentina and Colombia can probably be expected due to the gulf in class, and an away defeat to Bolivia is always a tricky fixture, due to playing over 2,000m above sea level.
Peru also defeated Venezuela at home and also on neutral territory during the Copa America in June – both ending 1-0.
Yet you have to go all the way back to 1997 for the last time Peru came out of Venezuela with all three points. I know you have to take these stats with a pinch of salt, but the home side have proven to have more fight in front of their own fans, despite a poor campaign.
A 2-1 victory over Ecuador when last seen at home was their first victory in eleven matches – although some of those results can be excused, due to their squad being hit heavily by Covid during Copa America.
But back to the fixture on Wednesday evening, and it looks likely these sides will once again contest a rather tight match.
Their last three fixtures have produced just two goals, Venezuela have scored the least amount of goals at home in the group, and Peru themselves have only scored four on their travels.
Under 2.5 goals represents very little value at 1.501/2, and so I’m suggesting the half time result to be a draw at 1.9520/21.
Home nation to get back on track
Colombia v Paraguay
Colombia have failed to win any of their last four matches, but there’s no need to press the panic button just yet. A narrow 1-0 defeat to Brazil last week you can easily draw a line through due to their exceptional form, and three draws against Uruguay, Ecuador and Brazil are all very solid results.
Their next opponents, Paraguay, have legitimately bad form. They’ve lost their last three qualifiers and they’ve also lost their last five matches away from home soil. In the process, Paraguay failed to score against Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.
Eduardo Berizzo must be scratching his head with his current crop of players, who can’t seem to score, with just nine goals in 13 qualifiers – and only two on the road – a penalty against Argentina and a late winner against bottom nation Venezuela.
Colombia’s home form is one of the weakest out of the ten nations, but a win would all but put clear daylight between their opponents when it comes to qualifying for Qatar.
Back Colombia to win and both teams to score NO in the Bet Builder option at 2.1211/10.
Chile can continue red hot form
Chile v Ecuador
Ben Brereton Diaz was the only bet to let me down last week but I’ll forgive Chile’s new star if they can get the job done over Ecuador on Wednesday night – and I’m pretty sure they will.
After defeating Paraguay in Asuncion last week, Chile’s winning streak now stands at three and although Ecuador will provide a much sterner test, Chile will fancy themselves back in front of their home supporters.
They’ll also have the opportunity to not only close the gap on third spot, but cement their place firmly in the World Cup places with the group currently the tightest it has been so far.
Ecuador’s sole victory away from home in qualifying came late on in Bolivia, but they have suffered four defeats on their travels. This also includes a 2-1 defeat to Venezuela . Chile, on the other hand, have collected 11 points from six home matches, scoring ten goals and conceding just four in the process.
Sometimes selections can be overcomplicated and although this is a clash between third and fourth, Chile priced at 1.804/5 to win in Santiago is price I can’t ignore.