With two of the world’s top ten sides and a team nine places above them in Fifa’s ridicule-free rankings for company, Venezuela were nobody’s idea of a potential Group C winner at this year’s Copa America.
Salomon Rondon’s 59th minute goal in his country’s opening encounter against Colombia, and the subsequent results in the group since, have changed all that. Now the men known as The Burgundy find themselves topping the league and in a rosy position.
Colombia bounced back from that shock defeat to beat Brazil, leaving all three teams locked on one win apiece with Venezuela about to play for a second time.
Victory over Peru, rated as a 9/5 possibility by bwin.com, would give Noel Sanvicente’s side a three-point cushion for comfort ahead of their deciding outing against the Canarinho.
Although that price makes them slight outsiders for the battle, their play has been outperforming all expectations for long enough to make it an outstanding one.
The world’s 72nd-ranked side have won four of their last five games, including a 1-0 friendly triumph over the Peruvians in April.
On the other hand, 7/4 about a La Blanquirroja victory is far too short considering they have gone winless in their last three outings and have only triumphed in three of the previous nine.
But while the match-betting market points towards a Venezuela win, there are other trends surrounding the Juan Arango-led nation that point to profitable punts.
11 of their last 14 matches have produced three or more goals, making the 27/20 about this match containing over 2.5 appeal greatly.Over a smaller sample size, Venezuela games have been tight affairs. All of the last six, including defeats to Bolivia and Jamaica, have been decided by just a single goal.
It is a 6/5 possibility that either side wins by one strike at the Estadio Elías Figueroa, which again represents a piece of low-hanging fruit for the encounter.