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Copa America 2024 tips and predictions: Colombia vs Paraguay - Dark horses start with a win

Colombia face Paraguay in the first match of Group D at the Copa America 2024 at the NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday night (2300 BST)

Colombia vs Paraguay is a clash of two teams that could be considered the dark horses of Copa America 2024.

This will be the 44th meeting between the sides with Colombia, who last won the competition in 2001, winning 20 and drawing six of the previous 43 clashes.

Colombia are also one of the most in-form teams in international football. Los Cafeteros have won their last eight matches and are unbeaten in 23. 

Their last defeat came in 2022 when World Cup winners Argentina beat them 1-0 in a competitive qualifier, but they remain unbeaten in qualifying for 2026.

As well as making light work of the USA and Bolivia in preparation for the Copa, Nestor Lorenzo’s team also beat Romania 3-2 and Spain 1-0.

 

 

 

On the other hand, Paraguay have won one of their first six World Cup qualifiers, a 1-0 win over Bolivia, who are typically the whipping boys of each campaign.

They weren’t particularly convincing in their warm-up matches, either. A 1-0 win over Panama is nothing to write home about and they were beaten 3-0 by Chile.

The most recent encounter between the two teams occurred in November when Colombia secured a hard-fought 1-0 away victory in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

 

Team news

Colombia's attacking options include Liverpool's Luis Diaz, Aston Villa's Jhon Duran and Bournemouth's Luis Sinisterra.

However, Jhon Arias, a midfielder who scored seven and assisted six in his previous 30 appearances for Fluminense, may be key.

James Rodriguez operated in a number 10 role behind goalscorer Jhon Cordoba in their last match.

Miguel Almiron, Paraguay's star man, has been protected in the warm-up matches but could start Monday.

Brighton's Julio Enciso has operated as a 10 and on the left side of a front three.

 

Key stats

- Brazil and Colombia are the bookmaker’s favourites to progress from Group D

- Colombia have won their last eight matches and are unbeaten in 23 contests

- Colombia are unbeaten in the last five meetings, winning three

- There have been under 2.5 goals in the last five meetings

- There have been under 2.5 goals in eight of Paraguay’s last 10 matches

- Paraguay failed to score in seven of those matches with their goals coming against Nicaragua, Bolivia and Panama

 

Suggested bets

Both teams to score: No

Colombia to win

Under 2.5 goals

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