Brazil and Bolivia are ready for the opening match in Morumbi

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They will face each other this Friday in Sao Paulo (21:30 hrs, Brasilia), after the inauguration ceremony of the 46th edition of CONMEBOL Copa America.

The expectation is over and this Friday, from 21:30, Brasilia time, will be played the first match of the CONMEBOL Copa América Brazil 2019,  between the host team and Bolivia. A Group A match of the tournament.

Brazil, the 8 times champions of this tournament (1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2007), has never lost this trophy each time it has been the host country (1919, 1922, 1949 and 1989).

Their last CONMEBOL Copa América title was in 2007, when they defeated Argentina 3-0 in Venezuela.

“Brazil is one of the favorites to win the Copa America, because we are playing at home with the support of our fans. Our team is very well prepared,” said Cafú, an emblematic ex-right back of La Canarinha and world champion in 1994 and 2002.

The game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (Brasilia) at the Morumbí Stadium in São Paulo, under the arbitration of the Argentinian Néstor Pitana, who has on his curriculum the opening match and the final of the Russia-2018 World Cup.

New blood and hunger for goals

Tite has placed in the Brazilian offensive fresh blood and hungry to score. The performance of Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City/ING) against Honduras made the coach very pleased. But Tite was even more impressed with the performances of Firmino (Liverpool/ENG) and David Neres (Ajax/HOL).

Firmino replaced Gabriel Jesús – who had scored two goals – and also scored, fighting for the opening spot. The Brazilian DT also pointed out the high level of confidence of Neres.

And has also stressed the “scent of goal” of Richarlison (Everton /ING), who was praised in the last training on Tuesday.

The presence of Arthur (Barcelona/ESP) was in question after an injury against Honduras, but Tite has guaranteed that he will be ready.

Brazil arrive at the tournament with a successful and powerful squad. From the goalkeeper Allison to Firmino, both recent Champions League winners with Liverpool.

Bolivia has passion… and willingness

The Bolivian National Team coach, Eduardo Villegas, acknowledges that they are “a little bit below the others”, although he says he knows ” that it is possible to be leveled” with “attitude” and “determination”.

“Brazil will be a tough opponent, with the support of their people and is definitely a candidate to win the Cup, but we have prepared well, we have corrected mistakes, we have played friendly games and we are confident that we will arrive in the best conditions”, said the goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.

Of the 23 members of the national team, 13 are coming to the tournament for the first time, although Marcelo Martins (Shijazhuang Ever Bright/CHN) and Marvin Bejarano (The Strongest/BOL) remain.

Coach Villegas of Bolivia, national team that won the CONMEBOL Copa America title in 1963, has recognized that his aim for his new team is to gain experience in order to classify to Catar-2022 World Cup.

Possible line-ups:

Brazil: Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis; Philippe Coutinho, Casemiro, Arthur or Allan; Richarlison, Roberto Firmino, David Neres.
DT: Tite.

Bolivia: Lampe; D. Bejarano, Haquin, Jusino, M. Bejarano; Justiniano, Saucedo, Castro, Fernández, L. Vaca; Martins.
DT: Eduardo Villegas.

Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)

#RockingTheContinen with the CONMEBOL Copa América from June 14 until July 7, with the final at the Maracaná Stadium.

*AFP

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