We are into the final 4 sides now of this 12 team preview – and next up is the nation of my favourite player, possibly ever – Nolberto Solano! This side has some serious talent, and if they get it right, they could give a few teams a scare! Here is their 23 man roster for the tournament:
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal), Salomon Libman (Cesar Vallejo).
Defenders: Luis Advincula (Vitoria Setubal), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich).
Midfielders: Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Edwin Retamoso (Real Garcilaso), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Carlos Ascues (Melgar), Joel Sanchez (Universidad San Martin de Porres), Paolo Hurtado (Pacos de Ferreira), Juan Manuel Vargas (Fiorentina), Christian Cueva (Alianza Lima).
Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Jefferson Farfan (Schalke), Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians), Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich), Yordy Reyna (RB Leipzig)
Coach: Ricardo Gareca
Likely Lineup (4-3-3): Gallese, Advincula, Zambrano, Yotan, Cespedas, Ballon, Vargas, Hurtado, Farfan, Carillo, Pizarro
This is a side that has beaten Paraguay, and earned a draw with Mexico, so no pushovers. Gareca has only been there since February, so is still getting a feel for his squad – but like mentioned there is some talent there, and some old heads that will know a thing or three. Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan are two names that stand out – but for me it is the likes of Carillo from Lisbon and Paolo Hurtado that could be the ones that hurt teams.
What to Expect?
Early knockout. With Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, it’s hard to see any more than 3 points, The last game against the Venezuelans is the key game, as the winner could well earn themselves one of two ‘Best 3rd place’ spots for the Quarter finals. Get to that, and it the pressure is off as nobody even expects that much!
Yet again there is little value, but both the Peruvians and Venezuelans are 5/1 to qualify in the top 2 – unlikely but a point against a poor Uruguay side is possible!
They have an outside shot at qualifying, and after that no chance. Paraguay may have got to the final 4 years ago, but I seriously doubt anyone like Peru could repeat that. Their back four could be the letdown, despite a couple of decent named players who are in Europe – quality will be their undoing!
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