Philippe Coutinho

Things are quite straightforward as we head into the third matchday of Group B in the Copa America. Brazil and Peru play each other, while Ecuador face Haiti, looking to score as many goals as possible.

The scenario? Brazil lead the group thanks to goal difference: Four points and +6. Peru are second with a +1 goal difference thanks to their win against Haiti. Ecuador haven’t lost, but with two points following their draws against Brazil and Peru, they need a big win against Haiti if Brazil and Peru draw their match. If Ecuador win and there’s a winner in Brazil vs Peru, they finish second in the group. Haiti not losing sends Brazil and Peru to the next stage. Ecuador winning while Brazil and Peru draw means it’s all about goal difference.

Ecuador vs Haiti: As we said, as simple as can be. Ecuador have to win, and preferably by two goals or more. After the humiliation against Brazil (1-7), Haiti might focus simply on not conceding anything, which could lead to a frustrating match.

Brazil vs Peru: Brazil will look to finish things early, hoping that Philippe Coutinho stays on form after his hat trick against the Haitians. An early goal in that match paved the way for the biggest result in the tournament so far, and for a team with problems up front, Coutinho’s creativity and ability to make surprising plays remains the key in opening defenses. Peru, while still in the top two, can’t afford to play for a draw, and opening things up early for them could be risky.

Group B is crossed with Group A in the quarterfinals. The top team in the group will face Colombia in the final 8; the runner-up will play the United States, who edged the Colombians on the final matchday of the group stage.

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