Copa América 2015: Brazil - Colombia - Match Preview
Photo: Sky Sports

Colombia are in search of redemption as Brazil look to improve on a scraped 2-1 victory over Peru.

The two pre-tournament favourites looked disappointing facing their challengers in the match-day one of the Copa America Group C.

Jose Pekerman's Colombia could not cope with the losses of Abel Aguilar and Fredy Guarin in midfield as Radamel Falcao and Carlos Bacca refused to drop deep to link the team. As such, Venezuela hit them clinically as Salomon Rondon scored the only goal in Group C's first match.

Meanwhile, Brazil had their own stumbling block at they faced 2011 3rd placed side Peru. Neymar had to carry his incredible Champions League Final performance into that game as Dunga's side went down early to Peru.

The 23-year-old scored the equaliser for Selecao before setting up Douglas Costa in added time for Brazil to take all three, unexpectedly difficult, points.

TEAM NEWS

Brazil

Philippe Coutinho could make his first Copa America appearance, having missed the Peru game with injury. That's a boost to the side with Coutinho in fine form ahead of the tournament.

Yet Dunga faces a pleasant headache with Douglas Costa's goal against La Blanquirroja reminding his manager of his quality ahead of the second group stage fixture.

Colombia

Despite an opening game loss and one of thoroughly disappointing performances throughout from the 14 players who appeared for Los Cafeteros, Jose Pekerman has no intentions to change anything in his starting eleven.

Teo Gutierrez appeared to be greatly missed before he came on as a substitute, his hard work at bringing the midfield and attack together obviously no longer there. Carlos Bacca had replaced him just minutes before kick-off for unknown reasons.

Pekerman labeled the defeat to Venezuela as "a typical opening match in the Copa" that "always takes a little time to find the rhythm."

It therefore seems unlikely that changes will be made but if it is to be, it will be Teo who is called for by the Tricolor fans.

HISTORY

Looking back at the past five fixtures between Brazil and Colombia shows the balance has clearly been in Selecao's favour.

As they hosted the World Cup in 2014, they faced the fan favourite dark horses Colombia with James Rodriguez in stunning form alongside Juan Fernando Quintero and Juan Cuadrado. 

Yet it was the poster boy of the tournament, Neymar, who came out on top ahead of the eventual golden boot winner, James.

A David Luiz free-kick took the game to 2-0 but even a James penalty couldn't bring enough fire power and hope from Los Cafeteros to beat the then mighty Brazil, who would lose their God-like status when they were beaten 7-1 by Germany.

After that, the first friendly for these two sides after football's biggest competition, was facing each other in September 2014. Again, Brazil prevailed. 

Last five meetings

September 5th 2014 - Brazil 1-0 Colombia 

July 4th 2014 - Brazil 2-1 Colombia (World Cup)

November 14th 2012 - Brazil 1-1 Colombia

October 15th 2008 - Brazil 0-0 Colombia

October 14th 2007 - Colombia 0-0 Brazil 

PREDICTION

If Colombia play as they did against Venezuela, everyone is in for a big scoreline against Neymar and co. for Brazil.

However, if Pekerman's team play like they have from October 2014 to before this tournament, the game will be a tight affair with a massive battle for possession.

The losses of Aguilar and Guarin spoken of earlier will have a huge impact on this game as they did against Venezuela but if Teo is introduced into the game at an earlier stage, the link up between attack and midfield will be greatly improved. That was the biggest issue in Sunday's game, if it is improved, Brazil - Colombia will be the treat it was in the World Cup last year.

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