Reigning Copa America champions Brazil kick-start the competition with a curtain-raiser against Venezuela on Sunday at 10pm (UK time).
The host nation and nine-time winners of South America’s flagship tournament will be vying to retain their crown on home soil, but an opening match against Venezuela represents a fairly ominous match to get the ball rolling.
Where to live stream Brazil vs Venezuela:
US ONLY: Fubo* will be streaming Brazil vs Venezuela live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
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*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
Where to watch Brazil vs Venezuela on TV:
- UK: BBC iPlayer
- US: Univision
Scoreline prediction: Brazil 2-0 Venezuela
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Brazil vs Venezuela build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
There can be no denying that Tite’s men enter the tournament as strong favourites. Not only are the Selecao playing on familiar terrain, but they have arguably the competition’s most balanced and elite squad, with quality ranging from defensive powerhouses Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Eder Militao, midfield bulldozers Casemiro and Fabinho, and of course the likes of Neymar and Roberto Firmino in attack, not to mentioned two world-class ‘keepers in Alisson and Ederson.
Venezuela, though, are certainly not a side to be downplayed. Former Real Madrid assistant manager Jose Peseiro takes the reins and boasts quality in the mould of Tomas Rincon, Yangel Herrera and of course Salomon Rondon. Brazil must be sharp and focused if they are to come through this challenge unscathed, but the midfield quality of Rincon and Herrera, not to mention the physically-robust exploits of Rondon, should cause Tite plenty of issues on Sunday.
- Brazil (vs Paraguay): Ederson; Danilo, Militao, Marquinhos, Sandro; Casemiro, Fred; Richarlison, Jesus, Firmino, Neymar.
- Venezuela (vs Uruguay): Graterol; Gonzalez, Ferraresi, Chancellor, Villanueva, Rosales; Savarino, Moreno, Rincon, Otero; Martinez.
Tite went with a rather adventurous 4-2-4 against Paraguay for the nation’s recent World Cup qualifier, shoehorning Richarlison Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino and Neymar all into one side. The result paid dividends as the nation ran out 2-0 victors, but whether the Brazilian coach takes a more pragmatic and reserved approach for their Copa America curtain raiser remains to be seen.
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Players to watch:
- Brazil: For all the skill, creativity and panache packed into this Brazil squad, Tite will need less elegant — but by no means less talented — players to balance the broth, connect the dots and dispel any symptoms of complacency. Casemiro is arguably the antithesis of the Brazilian ideal, a player who doesn’t concern himself with the intricate details of the game but simply sticks to his task, which is normally to break up play, metaphorically — and literally — snap at ankles and procure the ball, by hook or by crook. It’s a slightly disingenuous interpretation of Casemiro’s game, as he is not simply a midfield destroyer; for all intents and purposes he is exceptionally composed in possession and has a strong passing game. You don’t, after all, cement a Real Madrid starting berth for six successive years without having a bit about you in the distribution department. So, while Neymar and Co set to work transfixing fans at one end, Casemiro will be fulfilling his duty at the other, frustrating Venezuela and avoiding the limelight (apart from the obligatory card, of course).
- Venezuela: Now, this has the potential to be a fascinating match-up. Casemiro, of course, will be the tenacious stalwart harmonising Tite’s XI, but if there is one player capable of thwarting that flow, it’s Yangel Herrera. The Manchester City midfielder has spent the last two seasons on loan at Granada, during which time he catapulted the European greenhorns to continental football and helped the side reach this season’s Europa League quarter-finals. The 23-year-old was the fulcrum behind Diego Martinez’s system, relishing the chance to get stuck into challenges, while also having no inhibitions to get up the pitch and showcase his creative talents. Herrera has been an underdog’s linchpin at club level, now he will look to do the same on the international stage.
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