Colombia v Venezuela: Second win for Los Cafeteros will be close

Dan Fitch thinks that Colombia will beat Venezuela in the Copa America on Thursday, but hasn't seen anything to suggest that it will be easy.

Colombia aim for another win

Colombia can put themselves in a commanding position in Group B when they take on Venezuela on Thursday night.

Los Cafeteros won their opening Copa America game 1-0 against Ecuador and are second in Group B behind Brazil on goal differences. Brazil are 1.25 to win the group, ahead of Colombia at 4.4.

The match against Ecuador was a scrappy game decided by a well-rehearsed free-kick routine, finished off by Edwin Cardona. Colombia are now unbeaten in three matches since appointing Reinaldo Rueda as manager, following his sacking by Chile in January (W2 D1). Rueda was previously in temporary charge of Colombia in 2002 and then took the job full-time between 2004 and 2006.

Venezuela's campaign in tatters

Venezuela's preparation for their opening match against Brazil could have scarcely gone worse. Twelve members of their party, including five players, tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the opening game of the tournament.

The players who tested positive are now out of the Copa America as they self-isolate. This number includes the Venezuela captain Tomas Rincon and though Conmebol changed their own rules to allow the coach Jose Peseiro to call up replacements, their campaign effectively seems over already.

Venezuela started against Brazil with just three of the team that had played against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier in their previous outing and had two debutants in their team. Under the circumstances, they did well to restrict Brazil to a mere 3-0 win, with the hosts not scoring the third goal until the 89th minute.

Another slim win for Colombia

Colombia are the 1.29 favourites, with the draw at 5.8 and a Venezuela win out at 14.0.

A Colombia win does look pretty certain under the circumstances, but it may not be as comprehensive as the odds suggest it should be. Colombia struggled to create chances against Ecudaor, while Venezuela coped well with Brazil's attacking onslaught.

The 0-0 half-time score is 3.0. I tipped a Brazil win and under 2.5 goals against Venezuela, which came extremely close to landing. A Colombia win and under 2.5 goals is priced at 3.0.

Under 2.5 goals is 1.95 as a standalone bet. With Colombia and Venezuela scoring only one goal between them in their opening games, under 1.5 goals is available at 3.8.

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