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Jan 28, 2022 at 10pm UK
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Preview: Venezuela vs. Bolivia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Venezuela vs. Bolivia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup Qualifying - South America clash between Venezuela and Bolivia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bolivia will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins in their World Cup 2022 qualification section when they take on Venezuela on Friday.

The visitors are currently eighth in the South American table, two points behind fourth-placed Colombia, while Venezuela are rooted to the bottom of the division with seven points from 14 matches.

Match preview

Venezuela have found it difficult to compete in this section, winning two, drawing one and losing 11 of their 14 matches to collect seven points, which has left them bottom of the table, some 10 points off the top four.

The home side beat Ecuador last October but have lost their last three matches in the group against Chile, Ecuador and Peru, which has left them rooted to the foot of the division with four games left.

Venezuela have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup, so it is not a surprise to see them struggling in their qualification section, and only an incredible set of results would allow them to move into contention.

Jose Pekerman's side will be determined to end a run of three straight defeats in their first game since last November but will certainly be the underdogs against a Bolivia outfit that have impressively triumphed in three of their last four qualification matches to put themselves in contention for a top-four spot.

Bolivia's recent form has allowed them to move onto 15 points from 14 matches, which has left them in eighth spot in the table, only two points behind fourth-placed Colombia on the same number of games.

The visitors, as mentioned, have won three of their last four qualification matches, beating Peru 1-0 and Paraguay 4-0 last October, in addition to recording a 3-0 victory over Uruguay in November.

Cesar Farias's side have actually won five of their last six matches in all competitions, having also beaten El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago in friendly encounters, so confidence should be high in the camp.

La Verde have only qualified for the finals of a World Cup on three previous occasions, and they were eliminated in the group stage of the competition in each appearance - 1930, 1950 and 1994.

Bolivia will face Chile in their next World Cup qualifier after this one on February 1 before finishing their campaign away to Colombia and at home to Brazil in March.

Venezuela World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Bolivia World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Bolivia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Venezuela are expected to have Salomon Rondon at the tip of their attack on Friday, with a 4-4-1-1 formation likely to include Luis Gonzalez in the number 10 position.

The home side need to win this match in order to stand a chance of moving closer to the top four, and an attacking lineup should also involve Granada's Darwin Machis.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the Venezuela XI on Friday, with Tomas Rincon set to skipper the side from midfield, while Romulo Otero is also likely to start.

As for Bolivia, Marcelo Moreno is expected to skipper the team from centre-forward, with the 34-year-old looking to add to the 28 goals that he has managed for his country.

Juan Carlos Arce and Victor Abrego should also feature in the final third of the field, with the XI expected to be similar to the one that took to the field for the first whistle against Uruguay in their last competitive match.

Erwin Saavedra should come into the side in a wide position, while Carlos Lampe will keep his position between the sticks to win his 48th cap for the national side.

Venezuela possible starting lineup:
Farinez; Hernandez, Osorio, Ferraresi, Gonzalez; Otero, Moreno, Rincon, Machis; Gonzalez; Rondon

Bolivia possible starting lineup:
Lampe; Bejarano, Haquin, Sagredo; Saavedra, Justiniano, Villaroel, Fernandez; Abrego, Arce, Moreno

We say: Venezuela 0-1 Bolivia

Bolivia - looking to put themselves in top-four contention - will be full of confidence due to their impressive run of form, and we are expecting the visitors to triumph on Friday. Venezuela are capable of making this a tight match, though, so we are only backing a 1-0 Bolivia win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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