It is a big summer ahead for football tournaments with both the European Championships and the Copa America tournaments set to take place, starting within the next couple of weeks.

While the teams in Europe have a couple of friendly games planned for the next week or so, ideally for them to tune up tactically ahead of the tournament starting on Friday 11th June, teams in South America don’t have quite the same luxury as their warm up games for the Copa America are two World Cup Qualifiers.

With the last two dates in March for South American World Cup Qualifying cancelled, teams will play Matchday 7 and 8 fixtures this week, with the postponed dates due to be played later on in the qualifying schedule at an as yet undetermined date.

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Given that the South American teams play a gruelling 18 matches as part of their World Cup Qualification campaign, it is a very hectic schedule, and it means that every date that has a round of games, can influence the final outcome as to who qualifies, a great deal.

Of course, interest in these games is huge not just in South America but around the world and if you would like to enjoy a bet on these matches then bet365 Sport offers a fantastic selection of pre-game and In Play bets. If you’ve recently joined, you can also use some of your bet365 Welcome Bonus bet credits for a bet or two too.

Remember too if you are based in North America, particularly in Pennsylvania, then BetRivers PA offers a fantastic range of betting on a wide range of sports, including South American soccer, as well as all your top American and European sporting events too.

The first five games take place later this week so let’s take a closer look at each and give you our tips for every match.

South American World Cup Qualifiers

Thursday 3rd June

  • Bolivia v Venezuela

This fixture sees the two teams widely regarded as the long-shots to qualify from South America facing off in a game that both teams will see as one that they must win in order to stand any chance of moving up the table.

Neither Venezuela, nor Bolivia, have squads of players that are anywhere near as talented as any of the other nations in this qualifying section, so every point they get is hard-earned. Although it is worth noting that Bolivia have a big advantage in their home games as they play in La Paz, which is so far above sea level that the air is very thin.

The Bolivians have played just one home game so far, which they lost and their only point came from a draw in Paraguay. Venezuela were bottom of the table, but won their last game 2-1 over Chile in what was a surprising victory.

I do think Venezuela are probably the better team, but I feel Bolivia’s home advantage is such that they will take the victory here. Back Bolivia to win at 19/20 with bet365 Sport.

  • Uruguay v Paraguay

I do feel these two teams are likely to be the ones involved in the battle for fourth and fifth spots in the qualifying campaign and that makes this clash between the two all the more important.

Paraguay have been solid, if not spectacular during this qualifying campaign thus far. They have not been beaten, but have drawn three games and won just once, at home to Venezuela. However, they did earn a very good point on the road in Argentina.

Uruguay have had a very different experience, winning two games and losing the other two. Their ageing squad still possesses huge quality in defence and attack with the likes of Jon Giminez, Diego Godin, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani the standout stars.

This should be a very competitive game but I just think with home advantage, Uruguay’s quality in attack will be the difference here. I am backing Uruguay to win here at 7/10 with bet365.

  • Argentina v Chile

Given the quality in their squad, it is hugely puzzling that Argentina have struggled for form in recent times but with Lionel Messi back in the fold, they stand a chance of beating any team on their day and that includes today’s opponents Chile.

The Chileans are another side, rather like Uruguay, who have some fine players but who are all the wrong side of 30 and they are another team who are somewhat on the decline. With just one win so far in the competition, they lie 6th in the table, whereas Argentina are second.

In terms of quality, the Argentine squad is vastly superior to Chile, but Chile have had a knack of upsetting the odds in recent times. That said, I can’t quite see them having the quality to achieve that in Argentina in a World Cup Qualifier.

Lionel Messi has not had the best domestic season at Barcelona despite still being hugely impressive stats wise. Maybe this will be the summer he turns into Argentina’s saviour. Back Argentina to land the win here at 11/20.

  • Peru v Colombia

Colombia are a talented team but they are also a team that has struggled with internal conflicts between team mates, a lack of form and disciplinary problems in recent times. After being thumped 6-1 by Ecuador last time out, James Rodriguez was omitted from the squad, which has come as a surprise to many, including the Everton midfielder himself.

Peru on the other hand are probably not as strong a team as Colombia and there is no doubt that their best players, such as Jefferson Farfan, are now all pushing beyond 30 years and some. There doesn’t really appear to be too many players in the pipeline to replace them and that has resulted in a loss of form.

I see this as a game between a team on the slide and one looking to find its identity ahead of the Copa America, as well as qualify for the World Cup Finals in Qatar and I think Colombia should have enough quality to do that, but they need to start picking up wins. Starting here.

As such, I am backing Colombia to earn the victory here at 13/10 with bet365.

Friday 4th June

  • Brazil v Ecuador

Brazil were certainly expected to be one of the top teams in South American World Cup qualifying, it is exceptionally rare that they are not and it is no surprise to see them sitting at the top of the qualifying table after four games.

Ecuador though have been a surprise package in racking up three wins in four games and moving into third place in the table, just behind the big two of Brazil and Argentina. A 6-1 thrashing of Colombia in their last game enough to give them a real boost heading into this game.

However, heading into Brazil to win a World Cup Qualifier is not something too many teams have done over the years and when you look at the quality of both squads, and add the fact Brazil are playing at home, it just feels like this is Brazil’s to lose.

I don’t think they will do that, so back Brazil to win at 1/4 with bet365.