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September 20, 2018

I see no 'cool runnings' for the Reggae Boyz

Paraguay's head coach Ramon Diaz (L) listen to his son and assistant coach Emiliano (C) as he gives instructions to the team at a training session at El Romeral sports center in La Serena, June 18, 2015. Photo/REUTERS
Paraguay's head coach Ramon Diaz (L) listen to his son and assistant coach Emiliano (C) as he gives instructions to the team at a training session at El Romeral sports center in La Serena, June 18, 2015. Photo/REUTERS

Uruguay Vs Paraguay Today 10pm

My Prediction: Uruguay 2-1 Paraguay

Mixed fortunes so far for all teams in this group – Group “B”; in the Copa America tournament. Uruguay beat Jamaica 1-0 in their opening game and then a Sergio Aguero goal saw them go down 1-0 to Argentina. Uruguay may be defending champions but they struggled to beat minnows Jamaica last weekend. With Luis Suarez still suspended for biting Giorgio Chiellini in last year’s World Cup; the responsibility fell on Edinson Cavani to step up but he didn’t in the opening game. Paraguay are trouble makers! Remember they reached the last final without winning a single game in open play and they’ll disturb the Uruguayans the way they did to the Argentines last weekend. They drew 2-2 and did not allow the star studded tournament favourites to walk all over them. Even though in the last final Uruguay scored three past the Paraguay keeper, Paraguay are spoilers and will attempt to spoil the party for Uruguay today. It will be a tough match but I think Cavani will step up to the plate here.

Argentina Vs Jamaica Sunday 1230am

My Prediction: Argentina 3-0 Jamaica

Argentina have got their tournament off to a slow start and they need to pick up the pace if they are to replicate their World Cup performance. There’s no Germany here to deny them the title but their draw against Paraguay last week was not impressive. They also only just beat Uruguay 1-0 midweek so superstars Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria and the likes need to focus more. Sergio Aguero got the winner against Uruguay but he’ll need to do more for them to go far. Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are arguably the weakest team in the tournament and Gerardo Martino’s Argentine side should use this as practice for the quarter finals.

Brazil Vs Venezuela Monday 1230am

My Prediction: Brazil 2-1 Venezuela

I was shocked by Brazil’s midweek performance against Colombia. I was shocked by their loss and I was shocked by Neymar’s behaviour that earned him a red card. This is probably the group of death judging by the results of the first two group matches. All four teams, including Peru and Colombia have won a game and lost one game. Ironically Venezuela beat Colombia who in turn beat Brazil, but Brazil beat Peru who in turn beat Venezuela. So it’s so tough to predict. I love that South American teams show no respect for big names like Neymar and Philippe Coutinho; like Dani Alves and Willian. Venezuela don’t have any big European based names to speak of but they fight like a team. They kind of remind me of Atletico Madrid. Team spirit above all else. This isn’t going to be easy for The Samba boys but along with Argentina they are firm favourites to win the tournament. They’ll be without their influential golden boy Neymar and will struggle to get a result; but I think they’ll do it! Sometimes teams play better without their main superstar because everyone rises to the occasion instead of always looking to pass to him.

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