Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Estadio Agustin Tovar will host Friday’s World Cup qualifier between Venezuela and Bolivia. La Vinotinto are stuck at the bottom of the table, with the team having slim chances of qualifying for the showpiece tournament in Qatar. New boss Jose Pekerman will count on the likes of Salomon Rondon, Josef Martinez, and Tomas Rincon for the January qualifiers, and seeing that Toronto ace Jefferson Soteldo is back to contention as well, home win should be considered.
Bolivia are enjoying a successful World Cup qualifying campaign, but given their anything but good away record in the process, we are tempted to put our money on Jose Pekerman’s troops. Forward Carmelo Algaranaz is banned for the visiting side as he was sent off in a 3-0 win over Uruguay. Bolivia defeated Venezuela 3-1 in La Paz earlier in the process, meaning that the hosts are hungry for revenge.
Highlighted Player (Josef Martinez):
Josef Martinez started his senior career at Caracas, but he made no more than 36 league appearances for the Venezuelan outfit from 2010 to 2012. Martinez then moved to Europe and the 170-cm tall striker scored 4 goals in 34 appearances for the capital club. In the 2013/2014 season he played for fellow Swiss outfit Thun (on loan) and on June 7, 2014 he signed a contract with Serie A team Torino.
In December, 2017 Josef Martinez scored his first ever goal in the Italian top flight in a 2-2 draw with Palermo. The Venezuela international currently plays (on loan) for Atlanta United in MLS and he made his debut for Gerardo Martino’s team against New York Red Bulls. Speaking of his international career, Martinez made his Venezuela debut against El Salvador, coming from the bench after 76 minutes.
On November 10, 2016 he scored a hat-trick for La Vinotinto in a thrilling 5-0 victory over Bolivia and it has to be noted that he has four caps (two goals) for Venezuela U20 team.
Highlighted Team (Bolivia):
Bolivian Football Federation has been established in 1926 and it is one of the 10 member of South American Football Confederation. Managed by Julio César Baldivieso, La Verde have gone through difficult times since their second place finish at Copa America 1997.
Three-time World Cup participants have last appeared at the global stage in 1994 and they have never gone past the first round on any of the three tournaments, scoring only one goal at the tournament held in the USA. Bolivia took part in 24 Copa America tournaments since their debut in 1926 and the most prominent result was their 1963 title.
Luis Hector Cristaldo and Marco Sandy are the two players with most caps for Bolivia with their 93 international appearances, while Joaquin Botero’s name still stands at the top of the scoring charts with the former Bolivian international netting 20 during his time with the national team.