Paraguay and Bolivia kick off their Copa America 2021 tournaments on Monday night (Tuesday Europe time). The two sides are in Copa America 2021 Group A alongside Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. Compared to Group B, Group A is a more difficult one to come through. Four of the five teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. On paper, Paraguay and Bolivia are fighting for fourth place in Group A – possibly third.

Eduardo Berizzo’s team started the CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign well. However, Paraguay’s June World Cup 2022 qualifiers did not go well. They drew nil-nil with Uruguay before losing 2-0 to Brazil. Paraguay are a good side with the likes of Newcastle United attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron and San Lorenzo striker Angel Romero playing in attack.

Bolivia are ranked No. 81 in the world according to FIFA. In contrast to Paraguay, they started the CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in awful form failing to win any of their first four games. But Bolivia defeated Venezuela 3-1 followed by a 1-1 draw with Chile in their most recent World Cup qualifiers.

The results have set Bolivia up for the Copa America 2021 and could see them collect enough points to progress to the quarterfinals. Bolivia could surprise a few onlookers in South America.

Paraguay vs Bolivia Betting Odds

 

Despite contrasting form, Paraguay are favourites according to leading sportsbooks going into the game this week. Paraguay are at odds of 4/11 to defeat Bolivia on matchday No. 1 of Group A. The two teams played in November 2020 in World Cup qualifying. The game ended 2-2 in a thriller.

Paraguay’s Romero opened the scoring in the 19th minute from the penalty spot. Bolivia’s Marcelo Moreno equalised in the 41st minute and Boris Cespedes put the team up 2-1 just before halftime. Paraguay were able to equalise with 18 minutes left thanks to a Kaku goal. The teams are at odds of 15/4 to draw once more.

Paraguay have failed to score in their last two international matches. Berizzo’s team are now struggling to score goals after outscoring opponents six to five in 2020. Paraguay have a great all-time record versus Bolivia. They have posted a record of 37W-17D-15L against Bolivia dating back to 1926. Paraguay are winless in their last two games with Bolivia.

Bolivia coach Cesar Farias’s team are on a two-game unbeaten streak. They are at odds of 17/2 to win the match versus Paraguay on Monday night (Tuesday in Europe). Just once since 2000, Bolivia have qualified for the knockout round of the Copa America only once. Their knockout stage appearance came in 2015, as they came second in their group before suffering a 3-1 defeat to Peru in the quarter-final.

Paraguay vs Bolivia Team News

The Paraguay are likely to line-up with striker Angel Romero leading the line. Romero scored against Bolivia when the teams met in 2020 from the penalty spot. The San Lorenzo striker has six goals in 24 appearances for the Paraguayan national team. He is likely to be joined by Paraguay's key goal creator Miguel Almiron. The Newcastle United man continues to be up and down for the Premier League club. Berizzo will expect the attacking midfielder to play a big part in the group stage of the Copa America.

West Ham United centre-back Fabian Balbuena will anchor the defence. The defender is likely to play alongside Junior Alonso and captain Gustavo Gomez. The Paraguay defence conceded two goals in their last two games. Those two goals were conceded versus Brazil while Paraguay kept a clean sheet versus Uruguay.

Bolivia are led by striker Marcelo Moreno, who scored versus Paraguay in November 2020. Moreno plays club football for Brazil’s Cruzeiro and has tallied 25 goals in 83 international appearances. Moreno leads CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying in goals with six. Midfielder Juan Carlos Arce brings veteran leadership to the team. He has played 76 times for Bolivia and scored 12 goals for the team.

Farias’s biggest issue with Bolivia is the lack of quality in the side. Sure, they could progress as one of the best four teams in Group A. However, 21 members of the squad comes from teams competing in Bolivia’s domestic league.

Paraguay vs Bolivia Prediction

Both teams to score: YES @ 6/4 - BET NOW

 

The teams played out a 2-2 draw in November 2020. The teams could play out another 2-2 stalemate just as they did last year. Bolivia go into the game in good form with a win and a draw in their last two games. Paraguay are not in form after a draw and loss over the course of the last 180 minutes. This could be an exciting match between the sides.

Marcelo Moreno to score anytime @ 16/5 - BET NOW

 

Moreno leads CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with six goals. He has been very good in the final third despite being 33-years old. By the time the Copa America 2021 finishes, the Cruzeiro striker will be 34. Moreno has been a journeyman player with the likes of Wigan, Werder Bremen, and Wuhan Zali amongst others. Moreo scored in November versus Paraguay and could do it again.

Over 2.5 goals scored @ 11/10 - BET NOW

 

Paraguay and Bolivia combined for four goals last year. Defence could go out the window on matchday 1 in Group A. If the two teams have hopes of getting through a difficult group, this is a game the teams need to win. Seven of Bolivia’s last eight matches finished with over 2.5 goals scored. Two of Paraguay’s last six matches ended with over 2.5 goals tallied.

Bolivia are in form going into the game. They were good versus Venezuela and Chile, and could get a result once more versus Paraguay. The two teams could replicate the 2-2 scoreline of November 2020. The match could finish in a draw as Paraguay and Bolivia fight for points in Group A. Paraguay and Bolivia will have difficulty getting through this group.