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- Brazil have won 11 of their last 12 games, drawing the other, including a 4-0 victory vs Peru two weeks ago.
- Brazil have kept nine clean sheets in the last 12.
Tite’s team have been hampered by the pitch
Brazil face Peru in the semi-final of the Copa America exactly two years to the day that they defeated the Blanquirroja to take the continental title on home turf.
Seleção continued their assured defence with a 1-0 quarter-final win over Chile in which Gabriel Jesus rightly saw red for a reckless challenge.
So the man who put Brazil’s Copa victory in doubt two years ago by getting sent off will miss the rematch through suspension.
The two sides have met much more recently of course when Tite’s side did a number on Ricardo Gareca’s men in the group stage, running out 4-0 winners.
This should be different for a couple of reasons – Brazil have not been able to rediscover that attacking verve since that day and the pitch they will be playing on is hardly conducive to the Samba style.
Tite has called it a shame that the game can’t be switched from Estadio Nilton Santos, which has become more and more like a ploughed field throughout this tournament.
Peru are also without a key attacker through suspension after Andre Carrillo received his marching orders in their last eight win over Paraguay, which required penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Los Incas have shown a strong mentality throughout their campaign but their sloppiness in failing to hold on to 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the quarters cannot be ignored.
Brazil’s defence has been brilliant, conceding only twice in five tournament games, and midfielders Fred and Casemiro deserve much credit for that too.
It is hard to envisage a Peru side without their best winger troubling Brazil too much, although Gianluca Lapadula has finally started to come good.
On the other side, Neymar continues to provide goals and assists, having been involved in at least one goal in his last eight appearances for Brazil.
So with the PSG star fully fit and firing we are going to take Brazil to win with Under 2.5 goals in the game because Peru really shouldn’t be able to test Thiago Silva and co.
The game may well finish 1-0 if Brazil can’t settle themselves with an early strike, but we are taking a punt on 2-0 as a correct score play in case they do and the pitch doesn’t prevent them from purring.
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- 30 Jul