When the first shrill of the referee’s whistle is heard around the Monumental stadium on Sunday night to mark the 43rd Copa America final, it will quite literally herald the start of the 2011 Battle of Buenos Aires.
For while bookies and football betting punters alike believed we’d witness the hosts battle it out against Brazil for the third final running, there couldn’t have been two more equally badly behaved sides in this year’s tournament than Uruguay and Paraguay.
With 14 yellow cards to their name as well as two yellows leading to a red, favourites Uruguay have lived up to their reputation as a fiercely physical and cynical side in their five matches so far.
Paraguay meanwhile have accrued 13 yellows of their own as well as the customary red which Jonathan Santana received in the semis for his second booking of the night.
Only Argentina can boast a worse disciplinary record this year with an identical card count to Uruguay from one fewer match; hardly an unsurprising statistic to say the least.
So what affect will this have on Sunday night’s betting prices?
Well we can absolutely expect more of the same with a high card count on Sunday. So be sure to jump on the in:play betting markets and the in running disciplinary scores.
We can also expect the goals to be few and far between. In the 570 minutes of football Uruguay have played in this year’s tournament there have been just nine goals. And Paraguay have only gone one better with 10.
What’s more is that all 10 of the Paraguay match goals came in two group stage games against Brazil and Venezuela with their other three results all ending goalless.
Yet despite the lack of goals in games which Uruguay are involved in, they are the only side to have scored in all five matches (Chile and Argentina scored in their four games). So a low scoring war of attrition which Uruguay edge will be what those betting on football may go for.
But in a year where there have been more upsets than predicted results, it would no more be a surprise were Paraguay to claim victory in a nine goal thriller.