2019 Copa America favorite Brazil looks like a strong bet to hoist the trophy on Sunday when the hosts take on shock finalist Peru at the Maracana. Brazil is coming off a 2-0 win over rival Argentina in the semifinals, while Peru stunned 2015 and 2016 champs Chile 3-0 in a shocking yet convincing performance. These two teams played in the group stage, with Brazil pounding Peru 5-0, and while a similar scoreline isn’t expected, the likely outcome is that Brazil wins comfortably.
The match is set for 3 p.m. ET and you can see it on fuboTV (Try for free).
Here are three things to know about the final:
1. Brazil has been sharp without Neymar
It took Brazil a while to get going, but this team has been strong without the services of its injured star, Neymar. The PSG man missed the tournament due to injury, and that forced Tite to make some changes.
We’ve seen Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus both look sharp in attack, with each scoring against Argentina. They are combining well together, assisting each other on their goal, and the defense has been just as sharp. Brazil hasn’t conceded a goal all tournament, with Dani Alves playing like the 28-year-old version and not the 36-year-old version.
This team hasn’t won a Copa America since 2007, but it is fully confident Sunday will be their day.
2. The hosts are the clear-cut favorites
Brazil enters the game as the betting favorite with a goal line of -1.5. Having scored seven goals in the last two games and with a defense that kept Lionel Messi quiet on Tuesday, it’s hard to see Brazil having trouble here. Add to it the fact that Brazil beat Peru 5-0 about a week ago and is 30-9-4 all time against them, rarely ever losing at home, it almost makes it feel highly unlikely to even go to extra time.
Brazil has the better pedigree, the better players, more rest, the experience and is playing at home. All signs point to a Brazil win.
3. A Peru win would be an all-time Copa America upset
I’ll say it — this would be the biggest Copa America final upset in history if Peru can pull it off. Part of that is because it’s against Brazil in an away match, and Peru hasn’t won the tournament nor made the final since 1975. While this is one of the greatest eras in Peru’s soccer history with World Cup qualification last year and making the Copa America final this year, it still a massively challenging task to ask them to pull this one off.
What Peru is going to have to hope for is a repeat of the Uruguay game in the quarterfinals, which went to penalties after finishing 0-0, or to take advantage of surprisingly sloppy play by Brazil. They are going to need Brazil to have one of those nights where they just simply can’t finish, otherwise it’s going to get ugly.
No final in the history of the tournament would be as shocking as a Peru win here. It’s an uphill battle for them, but they are grateful for the chance and will leave everything they have out there on the field. There’s no pressure on them, and it’s all on Brazil.