Peru’s Copa America 2021 adventure kicks off at the Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos as they meet hosts Brazil on Friday.
The Brazilians have already demonstrated why many consider them the leading candidates to win back-to-back continental trophies with an overwhelming 3-0 win over Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the Peruvians head into proceedings in the midst of a rough patch, hoping to maintain their impressive recent Copa America record.
Brazil got off to a flying Copa America 2021 start, easing past Covid-hit Venezuela on the back of Neymar’s impressive performance.
The Paris Saint-Germain ace converted a spot-kick and delivered an assist to Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa in Brazil’s 3-0 thumping of one of the South American minnows.
Although they both started the match, Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Everton’s Richarlison failed to get on the scoresheet, with another PSG star Marquinhos scoring his team’s third.
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino spent the match on the bench and could return to the starting line-up for this encounter.
Only Neymar, of all Brazil players, has scored more goals than Firmino in the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. Therefore, it may come as some surprise if Tite decides to bench his in-form striker again.
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva was also on the bench after picking up an injury in the Champions League final against City and is unlikely to return to the fold on Friday.
Peru’s 2-1 victory over Ecuador in the 2020 World Cup qualifying ended a run of eight international matches without a win (D2, L6).
Seeking their ninth consecutive run to the Copa America knockout stage, the Peruvians will mainly rely on Benevento’s Gianluca Lapadula when it comes to their scoring output.
Even though he has yet to open his account at the national team, the 31-year-old is the headline name in this squad and one of just four Peruvian players to perform in Europe.
Lapadula was directly involved in both Peru’s goals against Ecuador last time out, providing assists in both his side’s goals in the abovementioned triumph.
But for La Blanquirroja, goals have been at a premium lately, with Lapadula and co drawing a blank three times in a row before putting two past Ecuador.
Brazil vs Peru Head-To-Head
Brazil have defeated Peru in their last four meetings in all competitions, prevailing by a winning margin of 2+ goals on each occasion.
The Brazilians dismantled the Peruvians 3-1 in the Copa America 2019 final, with Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus troubling the scoreboard in that match.
High scoring has been a common theme in their recent H2H clashes as three of their last four encounters have featured over 3.5 goals.
Brazil vs Peru Predicted Line-ups
Brazil (4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Alex Sandro, Marquinhos, Eder Miliato, Danilo; Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta, Fabinho; Roberto Firmino, Neymar, Richarlison.
Peru (4-2-3-1): Pedro Gallese; Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos, Luis Abram, Marcos Lopez; Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun; Andre Carrillo, Sergio Pena, Christian Cueva; Gianluca Lapadula.