(By Tim Lesnik)
There is not much to separate Venezuela and Peru going into their third-place play-off match at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata tomorrow.
Although bwin’s betting market has Venezuela as the 27/20 favourites to win the match, with a Peru victory priced at 39/20 and a draw at 43/20, there is very little to choose between them.
Both sides have similar records in the competition so far, with Peru’s reading two wins, a draw and two defeats and Venezuela’s being two wins, two draws and a defeat by way of penalty shoot-out.
Furthermore, they both had impressive quarter-final wins, with Peru overcoming in-form Colombia 2-0 and Venezuela edging past Chile 2-1.
Another similarity is that they have conceded the same number of goals, giving them the joint-fourth best defensive record in the competition.
With Peru and Venezuela conceding just 0.8 goals a match each on average, the best bet could be on there to be no goals in the game, which is available at odds of 27/4.
Meanwhile, odds of 2/1 are available on there being fewer than 1.5 goals in the match.
Having said that, Venezuela have managed to marry their defensive solidity with the fourth-best attack in the tournament, with six goals scored in five games.
As such, a bet on a 1-0 win for la Vinotinto could prove tempting at odds of 27/4.
Should Peru manage to break the deadlock, they are likely to do so through Paolo Guerrero.
The Hamburg striker has scored twice in the 2011 Copa America so far, making him the third-top marksman and putting him a single goal behind joint-top scorers Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez.
But regardless of the final score, both sides are likely to look back on their campaigns with satisfaction – as 80/1 and 100/1 title shots at the start of the tournament, Venezuela and Peru have far exceeded punters’ expectations.