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Copa America Group C: Colombia strength to pay dividends against Peru

It’s been 14 years since Colombia have got the better of Peru at the Copa America. Jose Pekerman’s men are nonetheless odds-on 8/15 favourites for victory with Coral, because since he took over in 2012 his charges have won the last two head-to-heads.

Both of these teams are still in with a shout of advancing to the knockout phase. Peru are this surprisingly perilous pool’s 6/1 outsiders, but can guarantee their progress with what would be an upset against such illustrious opposition as the World Cup quarter-finalists.

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With Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca suspended for his part in a post-match brawl against Brazil last time out, it’s key attacking trio Radamel Falcao, Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez that punters should be looking at to fire the Coffee Growers into the last eight.

Falcao may have flopped at Manchester United, but is Colombia’s record scorer, and features in an enhanced matchday special 2/1 wincast (max stake £20).

River Plate frontman Gutierrez had the final say when Pekerman’s men last played Peru, so is a 5/1 shout to net last again. Real Madrid’s Rodriguez, meanwhile, is the same price to open proceedings.

Peru are long 6/1 shots to upset the Coffee Growers, and 11/4 to snatch a point. This is in large part down to the fact they are still relying on Jose Paolo Guerrero and Claudio Pizarro up top.

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Punters may recall this strike pairing from Bayern Munich over a decade ago. Ex-Chelsea frontman Pizarro grabbed the winner against Venezuela last time out, so is awesome at 11/4 anytime to net again.

There’s a lot to like about Peru in wide areas too through former PSV Eindhoven and current Schalke attacker Jefferson Farfan (a tasty 10/3 in the same market) and Sporting Lisbon winger Andre Carrillo (better at 5/1).

While this front four is more than enough to cause Colombia problems, the spine of Peru is extremely weak in stark contrast to their opponents. Watch out for Fiorentina left-footer Juan Manuel Vargas, though.

Often played further forward for club, he is a real attacking outlet from full back for country, and sank the Coffee Growers at the last Copa America. An 8/1 price say Vargas will net again anytime.

Coral betting tip: Colombia have won the last two encounters to nil, so taking an enhanced 6/4 for that to happen again in another of our matchday specials (max stake £20) is well worthwhile.