Peru v Brazil: Tite expected to make changes

By Sports Desk June 21, 2019

Tite has hinted he will make changes for Copa America hosts Brazil's final group outing following a couple of lacklustre displays to start the tournament.

The Selecao have been booed during their opening two matches and now need to respond against Peru in Sao Paulo on Saturday if they are to finish top of Group A.

After scoring three times in the second half to win 3-0 against lowly ranked Bolivia to spare their blushes in the competition's opening match, Brazil failed to find a way past Venezuela in their next game, with two goals being ruled out by VAR.

Neymar-less Brazil managed just one shot on target - their least in a game over the last four Copa America tournaments - and head coach Tite is expected to make changes in attack against Peru, who also have four points from their two matches.

"We weren't effective enough in the attack," Tite said after the Venezuela stalemate.

"We needed to be more precise up front to be able to translate our superiority into goals."

David Neres, Richarlison and Roberto Firmino have started both matches, despite Gabriel Jesus' positive form heading into the tournament where he scored five goals in three outings for Manchester City and Brazil, while Gremio forward Everton has also impressed with his cameos from the bench.

Brazil need a win to make sure they claim top spot, which should set up a more favourable quarter-final tie.

But Ricardo Gareca's side will not make life easy for their opponents, having breathed life into their campaign with a 3-1 win over Bolivia last time out to leave themselves second, two points better off than Venezuela.

Gareca described the match as must-win and his players got the job done after battling back from a goal down at the iconic Maracana, despite being far from their best for the second game running.

And Peru historically boast a good 'away' record against Brazil in Copa America tournaments as they beat the Selecao 3-1 in 1975 and drew 0-0 in 1989.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Peru - Paolo Guerrero 

Former Bayern Munich striker Guerrero scored Peru's equaliser against Bolivia to take his tally to 12 Copa America goals - the joint-most among current active players. The captain then provided the assist for Jefferson Farfan's header to prove his importance once again.

Brazil - Everton

After scoring a long-range goal against Bolivia and looking bright in his second successive appearance from the bench in the draw with Venezuela, Everton has been tipped to replace either Neres or Richarlison in attacking midfield. He has seven goals in 16 league appearances for club side Gremio this season and recently talked up a move to Manchester United.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Brazil have lost only one of their last 18 meetings with Peru in all competitions (W11 D6), but that loss came in the last Copa America tournament in 2016 (0-1), when Brazil failed to qualify from the group stage for the first time since the 1987 edition.
- Brazil have lost only three of their 17 Copa America meetings with Peru (W11 D3), scoring 34 goals and conceding 13.
- Brazil have kept a clean sheet in each of their last eight Copa America home games (W5 D3); they last conceded at home in this competition in 1989, against Venezuela.
- Peru are unbeaten in their last seven Copa America games (W4 D3), their longest unbeaten run in the competition’s history.
- Only two of Brazil’s last 24 Copa America goals have come from set pieces: a penalty goal by Coutinho against Bolivia in this tournament, and a goal by Thiago Silva from a corner against Venezuela in 2015.

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