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2018 World Cup Qualifiers: Bolivia vs Colombia preview

Kick-off: Thursday, 24 March @20:00 GMT

Venue: Estadio Hernando Siles (La Paz)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Colombia vs Bolivia 5-0 (2014 World Cup qualifiers)
Bolivia vs Colombia 1-2 (2014 World Cup qualifiers)
Colombia vs Bolivia 2-0 (2011 Copa America)
Bolivia vs Colombia 1-1 (2010 Friendly International)
Colombia vs Bolivia 2-0 (2010 World Cup qualifiers)

Bolivia vs Colombia prediction

Colombia will be aiming to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Argentina when they take on Bolivia at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz on Thursday. Los Cafeteros are superior to Bolivia, but beating La Verde on the road is easier said than done.

Bolivians enjoy playing at high altitude

Bolivia suffered back-to-back defeats to Uruguay and Ecuador at the start of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, but they outplayed Venezuela (4-2) in their third group game. It is well known that the Bolivians are tough to beat at Estadio Hernando Siles at an altitude of 3.637 meters and they are certainly capable of upsetting Colombia in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier. The Strongest attacker Rodrigo Ramallo scored a brace in the 4-2 win over Venezuela and he is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against los Cafeteros. It has been 13 years since Bolivia recorded their last win over Colombia, but the underdogs will give their best to put an end to the negative trend.

The likes of Martin Smedberg and Luis Alberto Gutierrez will both join Bolivia squad, but they have slim chances of playing against Colombia.  Midfielder Walter Veizaga misses the game with injury, while Edward Zenteno should recover in time to face los Cafeteros. Morales returns from suspension.

No Falcao, no Martinez

Colombia were producing splendid displays at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but the hosts proved to be a big catch for los Cafeteros in the quarter-finals of the showpiece tournament. The Colombians are eager to take part at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but they endured a surprisingly slow start to their qualifying campaign. Jose Pekerman’s troops have recorded no more than one win from possible four in the process and it has to be noted that the team scored no more than one goal in previous three qualifying games. Radamel Falcao has been sorely missed in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and seeing that Chelsea ace is going to miss the Bolivia game with injury, a man to watch in the away team will be Carlos Bacca, who has been producing fine performances with AC Milan in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign. Anyhow, Colombia face a must-win situation in Thursday’s game against Bolivia and they are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in the Estadio Hernando Siles clash.

The likes of Jackson Martinez, Radamel Falcao, Teofilo Gutierez and Freddy Guarin have all been left out of the squad. Coach Jose Pekerman has included eight home-based players in the squad: Robinson Zapata, William Tesillo, Sebastian Perez, Victor Ibarbo, Farid Diaz, Marlos Moreno, Guillermo Celis and Daniel Torres.

Quick Facts

  • Colombia are eyeing their fourth consecutive win over Bolivia
  • Los Cafeteros scored nine goals in previous three meetings with La Verde
  • Bolivia recorded their last win over Colombia back in 2003
  • La Verde conceded 2+ goals in three of their last four home games
  • Under 2.5 goals were scored in nine of Colombia’s last ten matches

Bolivia vs Colombia betting tip

Bolivia are tough to beat at home, but seeing that a win is a must for Colombia, I believe that the visitors will leave their hearts on the field in order to pick up all three points from Thursday’s qualifier. Radamel Falcao remains on the sidelines, but the likes of James Rodriguez and Carlos Bacca are likely to pose a big threat for the opposition back line and, taking everything into account, away win should be considered.

Tip: Colombia to win

Odds: 2.20 (6/5) @10Bet

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