Brazil vs Peru: Roberto Firmino and Neymar to inspire hosts into Copa America final

The finalists of 2019 battle it out for a place in this year’s final as Brazil continue on their path towards a second successive Copa America title.

When: Tuesday, July 6, 12am BST

Where: Rio de Janeiro

How to Watch: BBC

Best bets

Roberto Firmino to score and assist a goal - around 6/1

Brazil to win in both halves - around 4/6

Both teams to score in the second half - around 15/4

After narrowly scraping past Chile with 10 men in the quarter-finals, Brazil will be hoping for an easier ride on Tuesday.

Having lost Gabriel Jesus under controversial circumstances, Selecao's attacking force will be somewhat hindered by the absence of the Manchester City striker. The good news is they have Neymar, Barbosa and Roberto Firmino - a trio who are no strangers to finding the net in this tournament.

Losing to the Brazilians in last tournament's final, the Peruvians will look to avenge the defeat as they chase their first Copa America victory since 1975.

Ricardo Gareca's side edged a game of the tournament contender against Paraguay in the previous round - a game which included six goals, two red cards and a nervy 4-3 penalty shootout.

Brazil and Peru met in the second round of group stage games in June, with the Brazilians earning a comfortable 4-0 victory.

Copa America form

Brazil

Brazil 3-0 Venezuela

Brazil 4-0 Peru

Brazil 2-1 Colombia

Brazil 1-1 Ecuador

Brazil 1-0 Chile

With the benefit of home advantage, the Brazilians have experienced very little trouble on their route to the semi-finals.

Tite's titans have scored 11 goals in their five fixtures, four of which came against the Peruvians in their aforementioned clash last month. Alex Sandro, Neymar, Everton Ribeiro and Richarlison were on the scoresheet for Brazil.

As a result, the Peruvians face a monumental fight on their hands to pull off a shock upset. However, the team's resolute performance against Paraguay stands as a reminder to Brazil that they must not rest on their laurels.

Inspired by a free-scoring Lionel MessiArgentina face Colombia in the tournament's other semi-final and all signs lead towards a reignited rivalry in the final.

Peru

Brazil 4-0 Peru

Colombia 1-2 Peru

Ecuador 2-2 Peru

Venezuela 0-1 Peru

Peru 3 (4) - 3 (3) Paraguay (AET and Penalties)

Despite the drubbing in their first group stage match, Peru have improved markedly as the tournament has progressed.

After impressively bouncing back to beat Colombia, La Blanquirroja took four points from Ecuador and Venezuela to ensure their quarters qualification. They then prevailed in the pandemonium to reach the last four.

With the odds stacked against them, they will need to raise their game even further to outdo the hosts in Rio. Peru, unbeaten in four games, will be without Al Hilal's Andre Carrillo who saw red against Paraguay.

They couldn't, could they?

Brazil must channel free-flowing flair

Fred's class has shone through in Brazil's campaign thus far
Fred's class has shone through in Brazil's campaign thus far

On paper, Brazil boast the best squad at the Copa America.

Fred's box-to-box brilliance, Neymar's trademark flair and Thiago Silva's colossal defensive presence have been three standout strings in the Brazilians' brilliant bow.

A notable talking point will be which player occupies the No. 1 jersey on Tuesday, with Allison and Ederson having been rotated.

Elsewhere on the field, Gabriel Jesus' suspension means extra responsibility on Richarlison and Roberto Firmino to provide the chances alongside Neymar - the trio have been involved in seven goals between them in the tournament.

Despite scoring seven goals in their first two games, Brazil's attacking flair has been stifled in their recent two fixtures - managing just one each against Ecuador and Chile, respectively.

With Peru likely to err on the side of caution after their Group B result, Brazil will need to rediscover the form that earned them plaudits just two weeks ago to ensure another final appearance.

Brazil's squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton.

Defenders: Emerson, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Renan Lodi, Leo Ortiz, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Douglas Luiz, Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta.

Forwards: Everton, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Barbosa, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior.

International head-to-head

Brazil wins: 35

Draws: 9

Peru wins: 5

Fearless Peru will leave it all on the pitch

Gianluca Lapadula has been a revelation for Peru in the absence of their captain.
Gianluca Lapadula has been a revelation for Peru in the absence of their captain.

With two third-place finishes and a runners-up spot in three of their previous four tournaments, Peru have performed resiliently in the Copa America throughout the last decade.

Two standout players for Ricardo Gareca's side have been Benevento's Gianluca Lapadula and Andre Carrillo of Al Hilal.

The prolific Peruvians have produced two goals and an assist each, with the latter having a 50% conversion rate.

With talismanic captain and forward Paolo Guerrero missing the tournament through injury, the forwards have capably filled what seemed a damaging void.

Although they will face an expected attacking onslaught from Brazil's star-studded line-up, the team have undeniably thrived under pressure throughout the competition.

Combining deep defensive blocks without the ball with dynamic passing and fast-paced counters, Gareca's unique style has propelled him into contention to be crowned manager of the tournament.

It's fair to say that La Blanquirroja are a far cry from the team that were mercilessly thrashed in their opening fixture and will revel in their underdog status as they fight for a famous victory.

Peru's squad:

Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caceda, Jose Carvallo

Defenders: Aldo Corzo, Luis Abram, Jhilmar Lora, Christian Ramos, Anderson Santamaría, Alexander Callens, Miguel Araujo, Miguel Trauco, Marcos Lopez, Renzo Garces.

Midfielders: Martín Tavara, Sergio Pena, Christian Cueva, Wilder Cartagena, Renato Tapia, Andre Carrillo, Yoshimar Yotun, Alexis Arias, Raziel Garcia.

Forwards: Luis Iberico, Alex Valera, Gianluca Lapadula, Santiago Ormeno.

Goalscorer bets

Neymar has been instrumental for Brazil with four goal contributions in as many games.
Neymar has been instrumental for Brazil with four goal contributions in as many games.

Lots of responsibility was bestowed upon the shoulders of Neymar to perform for his country this summer, and the PSG man has not let them down.

Meanwhile, with two goals and two assists to his name so far, Roberto Firmino is around 11/1 to score from outside the area.

Gianluca Lapadula has been Peru's standout player throughout the tournament and will need to be in fine form to fire his country to glory.

He is around 17/4 to open the scoring for the Peruvians.