Colombia vs Venezuela by Enzo
Colombia had a decent run at Copa America back in June, as the team managed to win the third place and Bronze medal with a 1:0 narrow victory over hosts from USA. They had high ambitions and were one of the favorites of the tournament, but couldn't pass Chile in the semifinals paying the price of entering the game very nervously, as they stood behind in the scoreline 2:0 already after first eleven minutes, while playing with a man less since 57th minute when Sanchez had to leave the pitch didn't help them either.
As for the World Cup qualifications, the team has started poorly but also have recovered now, as they come from two consecutive victories, over Bolivia and Ecuador and are now fifth at the table, being only three points below the leaders from Uruguay. Despite a poor start, the team has a chance to secure the direct ticket for World Cup, but just in case they continue in the same way.
Defender Cristian Zapata (46/1) won't be playing this time, while the team also miss midfielders Fredy Guarin (57/4), Juan Fernando Quintero (13/1) and forwards Adrian Ramos (36/4), Jackson Martinez (40/0) and Radamel Falcao (62/25), but still with plenty of quality in attack up-front.
Venezuela came to the Copa America competition being in quite a poor form and with a terrible atmosphere, but the team managed to surprise everyone and progress to the knockout stage even though they were in quite difficult group together with Uruguay, Mexico and Jamaica.
They managed to get two narrow 1:0 victories over Uruguay and Jamaica, taking a draw against Mexico as well, which secured them quarter-finals game against Argentina, but the Venezuelans were completely outplayed in 4:1 defeat. As for the World Cup qualifications, the team has 0-1-5 record so far and even though they still have mathematical chances, having in mind their quality, it's hard to see them getting away with something during this qualifying process.
In the previous game of qualifying stage, they suffered 1:4 home defeat against Chile. Midfielders Luis Manuel Seijas (67/2) and Alejandro Guerra (59/4) weren't invited this time, as well as striker Nicolas Fedor (53/11) out of more known players.
I see obvious quality difference here. Colombia looked rather well at Copa America and should be able to get a convincing victory here. They didn't win in last three matches against Venezuelans, but now it's a payback time. Visitors are going nowhere in these qualifiers and the home team should be very motivated in front of even more important matches that are to come.