Costa Rica vs Paraguay Prediction: La Albirroja to show fight in bid to avoid wooden spoon

 | Tuesday 2nd July 2024, 14:18pm

Tuesday 2nd July 2024, 14:18pm

Costa Rica and Paraguay meet at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas on Wednesday (02:00, Premier Sports 2) in what is practically a wooden spoon decider in Copa America Group D.

Read below for my Costa Rica vs Paraguay prediction and all the latest team news as both countries prepare to bow out of the tournament.

Costa Rica vs Paraguay Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score @ 1/1
  • Bet Builder - Over 23.5 shots, Julio Enciso anytime scorer, Joel Campbell 1+ shots, Paraguay over 3.5 corners @ 17/2

Copa America Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Copa America page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this competition.

State of Play

Costa Rica still have a mathematical chance of beating Brazil to second place and setting up a quarter-final tie with Uruguay.

But after holding the Selecao to a goalless draw in their opening Group D game, a 3-0 defeat to Colombia last time out, coupled with a 4-1 victory for Brazil over Paraguay, has left them on a single point and a -3 goal difference heading into Wednesday, compared to Brazil's four points and +3 goal difference.

Overturning a six-goal swing appears hugely unlikely for a team that is yet to score in this tournament.

Paraguay have scored at the 2024 Copa America - twice - but are bottom of Group D after losing 2-1 to Colombia and 4-1 to Brazil. Julio Enciso and Omar Alderete were their respective scorers in those games, but it's their defensive deficiencies that have cost them the chance to advance to the knockouts.

So, this feels more like a battle to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, with Costa Rica just needing to avoid defeat to clinch third place.

Team News

Costa Rica forward Manfred Ugalde is suspended for Wednesday's match after picking up a yellow card in each of his country's first two group games, while Paraguay midfielder Andres Cubas is suspended after being shown a red card against Brazil last time out.

Both sides will have to make at least one change to their starting XI's, but with progression to the knockouts over for Costa Rica and Paraguay - certainly the latter - there could be a few more alterations made.

Matias Rojas and Kaku are pushing to start for Paraguay, while Joseph Mora and Joel Campbell were introduced for the second half of Costa Rica's defeat to Colombia and could be handed opportunities from the off in their final group game.

Costa Rica vs Paraguay Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Costa Rica vs Paraguay page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Despite their current standing, Costa Rica are considered underdogs on Wednesday, with odds of 3/1 giving them an implied win probability of 25%, while Paraguay are 5/6, or a 54.5% chance.

The draw is available at 23/10 and over 2.5 goals at 6/5.

Both teams to score @ 1/1

This may be a slightly surprising selection given Paraguay are pointless thus far and Costa Rica are yet to find the back of the net, but these two teams should be able to play with a degree of freedom in Austin.

Of course, Costa Rica can still finish second, but it's surely an insurmountable task, and the main focus should be on scoring - which they would need to do anyway - and giving their supporters something to shout about.

Firing blanks against Brazil and Colombia isn't exactly embarrassing either given the talent at the disposal of both countries, with Paraguay providing a much fairer examination of their credentials.

Paraguay appeared at four consecutive World Cups between 1998 to 2010 but haven't qualified since and will likely struggle to make the next one in 2026. They've won just two of their last 11 games and scored just once in their final six matches of 2023.

However, after opening up 2024 with a goalless draw with Peru and a 3-0 defeat to Chile, Paraguay got back on the scoresheet in a 1-0 victory over Panama and subsequently found the net in their first two Copa America group games against Colombia and Brazil, which should instill some confidence into the side.

La Albirroja won't want to finish bottom so they will surely be going all out to win the game on Wednesday, which should lend itself to an entertaining affair at the Q2 Stadium.

Both teams to score - Yes in Costa Rica vs Paraguay at 1-1

Bet Builder - Over 23.5 shots, Julio Enciso anytime scorer, Joel Campbell 1+ shots, Paraguay over 3.5 corners @ 17/2

There were 22 shots equally shared between Paraguay and Colombia on matchday one in Group D while La Albirroja's second match against Brazil saw a mammoth 32 shots, 15 taken by Paraguay.

Costa Rica's group games have fallen short of 24 shots, but only narrowly so as there were 21 in their draw with Brazil - just two from them - and 22 in defeat to Colombia - five on their part.

As previously alluded to, with little on the line for either side, there should be greater freedom for attacking players to express themselves, and with both teams desperate to score, we should see a decent number of shots on Wednesday.

Brighton's Enciso is my pick to score anytime in Austin after scoring Paraguay's opening goal of the tournament against Colombia.

The 20-year-old failed to fire in an injury-disrupted 2023/24 Premier League campaign for his club side but did find the net four times in his debut season for the Seagulls and appears to be his country's greatest hope going forward.

Enciso can strike the ball from anywhere, as evidenced in his FIFA Puskas Award contender against Manchester City in May 2023, and I fancy him to make one final mark in this tournament.

A player at the other end of his career is Costa Rica's Campbell, who was a 70th-minute substitute against Brazil before coming on at the start of the second half v Colombia.

This could be the 32-year-old's final international tournament and he will be desperate to go out with a bang. The former Arsenal winger currently plies his trade for LD Alajuelense in his homeland but time is surely ticking on his involvement with Costa Rica, for whom he has 141 senior caps.

I think he could start against Paraguay and that will give him a great chance to muster up at least one shot against a team that has allowed 28 shots across its first two group games.

The final selection in this bet builder is for Paraguay to win at least four corners, something they managed against Brazil (four) but narrowly missed out on v Colombia (three).

Their corners won count in the last six games reads four, three, four, five, five and four, so there are solid statistics to back up the assertion that they will win at least four against Costa Rica, who conceded nine to Brazil and four to Colombia.

Costa Rica vs Paraguay bet builder @ 17-2

Offers

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