Brazil and Peru meet in the Copa America final this weekend. The two teams met in the group stage, as Brazil cruised to a 5-0 victory. Peru pulled through the first round, however, and have defied the odds to make it to the final.

Starting off with a penalty shootout win against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay, Peru set themselves up against Chile in the semi-final.

Their side of the draw was favourable, with Brazil and Argentina in the other half of the bracket. Peru provided a shock in the last four, thrashing Chile 3-0.

Brazil were pre-tournament favourites and it’s little surprise to see them in the final. They defeated their fierce rivals Argentina in the semi-finals and are 1/6 to lift the trophy this weekend.

Ahead of the big match, here are five players to watch at Copa America 2019


Davi Alves

Even at 36, Dani Alves has been a force throughout the Copa America. Overlapping down the right flank, Alves provides the width which allows Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus to drift centrally.

Astonishingly, only six players in the tournament have completed more dribbles per match than Alves’ 2.8. He has flourished with the captain’s armband in Neymar’s absence...

Alves might not be playing at the same world-beating standard of his Barcelona days, but he remains a constant threat down the right hand side of the field and one of the best attacking full-backs in the history of the sport.

While Peru are distracted with the forwards, don’t be surprised if Alves pops up in the area and gets his ninth Brazil goal.


Paolo Guerrero

Veteran striker Paolo Guerrero has found the net twice in this tournament. His first was a crucial equaliser against Bolivia in the group stage, and his second came in the dying embers of the 3-0 win over Chile in the semi-finals.

The 35-year-old target man is 22/5 in 888sport’s football betting odds to open the scoring in the final. He’ll have his work cut out, though, against a Brazil defence that is yet to concede a goal in the tournament.

Marquinhos and Thiago Silva will fancy their chances of nullifying the Internacional forward. Peru need a heroic performance from their skipper if they are going to be competitive.


Philippe Coutinho

It wasn’t the best club season for Philippe Coutinho. His role at Barcelona was uncertain as he struggled to fit into the side and there have been rumours he could be on the move again this summer. He also had to watch former club Liverpool lift the Champions League.

The Copa America, meanwhile, has seen the best of the Brazilian number 10.

Shooting 3.4 times per match (fifth highest in the tournament) and completing 2.6 key passes per match (also fifth highest), he has thrived at the heart of the attack in Neymar’s absence.

Able to pick the ball up on the half turn, beat players and pick out the runs of his teammates, Coutinho has been as integral to Brazil’s run to the final as anyone.

Who knows what the future holds for Coutinho long-term. Short-term, though, it may well feature a man of the match award this weekend.


Pedro Gallese

Peru’s goalkeeper may well have a fair bit of work to do in the final. Brazil have averaged 17.6 shots per game so far through the tournament, and bombarded the Peru goal with 19 attempts in the group match, nine of which were on target.

Gallese had a nightmare in the 5-0 drubbing earlier in the tournament. He smashed the ball into Roberto Firmino as he tried to clear it, handing the Liverpool forward a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Firmino took his time and went round Peru’s ‘keeper to slide it into an empty net. Another error like that in the 2019 Copa America final will end Peru’s dreams of glory.

The 29-year-old stopper does bring confidence into the final, however, having put in a stunning display against Chile, including numerous saves and denying Eduardo Vargas from the spot.



With Brazil expected to have the vast majority of the ball (they had nearly 70% possession in the group match), Peru’s opportunities will be limited to counter-attacks.

Casemiro will be charged with sitting in front of the defence with Fernandinho still an injury doubt.

Long balls to Guerrero will test Silva and Marquinhos, but Casemiro has a key role to play in potentially winning the second ball and could be used to sandwich Guerrero in the aerial contests.

His positioning will be key to minimising Peru’s threat on the break. If he can put in a good performance, Brazil will be able to pen Peru in their own half and it could quickly become a question of ‘how many’ rather than ‘if’ for the hosts.


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.