Bolivia vs Peru Prediction | International Soccer Picks
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Luis Advincula.
Bolivia vs Peru Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+130 / -167)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FIFA+|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Two countries desperate for points meet to kick off this round of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying.
With the World Cup in 2026 expanded to 48 countries it means that six of the 10 South American countries automatically qualify with seven place heading to an intercontinental playoff. So, for Bolivia and Peru, who have combined for just one point through their first four matches, this match is absolutely massive for both of their chances at getting to the World Cup.
Here is my Bolivia vs Peru prediction.
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Bolivia Struggling For Form
Bolivia have been the least talented team in South America for a long time now and it's not shocking that they have zero points through four matches. The 1-0 loss to Paraguay last time out marked their eighth straight loss in competitive competitions, dating back to the last round of World Cup Qualifiers.
They are under the direction of a new manager in Antônio Carlos Zagod for this match. He is coming off an incredibly poor stint as manager of Brazilian Serie A side Coritiba where he did not win a single match in 11 tries before getting sacked. Because of the obvious talent gap between Bolivia and most teams in South America, they will sit deep and concede a ton of possession, looking to hit teams on the counter. In the past, they would defend in a 5-3-2 or 4-4-2, which is similar to how Zagod wants to play. Typically throughout his managerial career he's wanted his teams to play out of some version if a 3-5-2, looking to play more direct as opposed to building out of the back and controlling possession.
The problem for Bolivia has always been their ability to create high quality chances. They have failed to create over 1 xG in any of their four qualifying rounds this cycle and over the past two years, they are only averaging 1.11 xG per match. They also haven't been defending well in their low block, allowing 1.96 xG per match.
Peru Collapsing in Qualifying
Peru lost in the intercontinental playoff during the last World Cup Qualifying cycle to Australia. Since then, things have not been going well.
They only have one point through their first four qualifying matches and their offense has completely evaporated. They have failed to score in all four of their matches, putting up just 2.27 xG combined.
Juan Reynoso has taken over for this World Cup cycle after spending some time in Mexico at Cruz Azul. He typically wants his teams to play out of a 4-2-3-1 with a a number of different build up shapes as he wants a very fluid system. His main principles with his number of different build up shapes is overloading the middle of the pitch to isolate wingers against the opposing fullback, eventually creating 2 v 1s out wide to either create a chance via a cross or stretch the opposing central defensive block out to create space centrally for their attackers to make runs.
In theory this system sounds great and Reynoso had a lot of quality at Cruz Azul to pull it off, but with Peru it's been much harder to implement. Additionally, Peru have done a poor job of controlling possession to given them opportunities to build out of the back. In all four of their World Cup Qualifying matches against Paraguay, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, they have been held under 40% possession.
They did do an admirable job out of possession against Brazil and Argentina though, holding both of them under 1.5 xG, which is a very encouraging sign that they are improving their defending out of possession.
Bolivia vs Peru Prediction
There is no reason why Bolivia should be an odds on favorite here at home. Again, they have lost eight straight World Cup Qualifying matches and the underlying results have been just as bad.
They do have some new manager bounce with Zagod taking over, but given how bad his last stint with Coritiba was this summer in Brazil, it shouldn't give Bolivian fans too much confidence in their ability to stop this losing streak.
Bolivia typically have a home field advantage because of their extremely high altitude making it difficult for opposing teams who have to come play some 5,000 meters above sea level. However, Peru's altitude is pretty much exactly the same as Bolivia's, so they won't have as big of an advantage that they have over some teams in South America.
I have this match projected very close to a pick'em, so I love the value on Peru +0.5 at -137.
Pick: Peru +0.5 (-137 via BetRivers)