Venezuela vs Canada: Preview and Prediction

Canada will aim to keep their dream Copa America run going when they take on Venezuela on Friday.

Two of the surprise packages of the 2024 Copa America will vie for a spot in the semi-finals as Venezuela and Canada clash at AT&T Stadium on Friday.

Venezuela defied expectations by topping Group B with nine points, securing a dominant 3-0 victory over Jamaica in their final group stage clash. Meanwhile, Canada secured the runners-up spot in Group A after a hard-fought 0-0 draw with former champions  Chile on matchday three.

While many would have banked on Venezuela making an early exit, they have crafted an inspiring underdog narrative, winning all three of their group matches for the first time in their history. They will hope to keep the momentum going with a semi-final spot up for grabs.

The steady leadership of Fernando Batista has provided a stabilising force, with the team displaying remarkable defensive resilience, conceding just once in their last four matches across all competitions.

Should Venezuela triumph in this encounter, they will reach the semi-finals of the Copa America for the first time since 2011. Their last two quarter-final appearances resulted in defeats to Argentina, including a 2-0 loss at this stage in 2019.

Since a 3-1 defeat to Mexico in June 2019, Venezuela have been unbeaten in their last eight matches against CONCACAF opposition, showcasing their growing confidence and capability.

On the other hand, Canada achieved a historic milestone last weekend by becoming just the third nation to progress beyond the group stage in their first-ever Copa America, joining Mexico and Honduras in this elite club. Les Rouges will aim to emulate the success of Mexico and Honduras, who both advanced past the quarter-finals in their debut Copa America appearances.

Under Jesse Marsch, Canada has adapted swiftly to a style centred around unity and high intensity, which has proven effective in this tournament. After a 4-0 defeat to the Netherlands in his first match in charge, Marsch’s team has secured three clean sheets in their last four competitive games. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up and what tactics they might make use of for the game.

Team News & Tactics


Venezuela will be missing Darwin Machis for this quarter-final encounter after he received a second booking on Matchday 3. However, Nahuel Ferraresi and Miguel Navarro are expected to return to the starting lineup, having been rested against Jamaica due to their yellow card cautions.

Fernando Batista is expected to set his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Rafael Romo in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Jon Aramburu, Nahuel Ferraresi, Yordan Osorio, and Miguel Navarro.

Jose Martinez and Yangel Herrera should form the double pivot in midfield, with Eduard Bello, Cristian Casseres Jr. and Yeferson Soteldo supporting Salomon Rondon up front.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Romo; Aramburu, Ferraresi, Yordan Osorio, Navarro; Martinez, Herrera; Bello, Casseres, Soteldo; Rondon

Venezuela vs Canada: Preview and Prediction.


Canada are dealing with a significant setback as Tajon Buchanan, the Inter Milan winger, broke his tibia in training this week and has undergone surgery. This injury rules him out of the quarter-final clash.

Olympique Marseille-bound Ismael Kone is likely to return to the starting lineup on Friday after sitting out their final group match due to being on a yellow card. This will be a welcome return for Jesse Marsch’s side.

Canada are also expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Maxime Crépeau in goal, behind the back four of Alistair Johnston, Moïse Bombito, Derek Cornelius and Alphonso Davies.

Kone and Stephen Eustáquio should form the double pivot, with Ali Ahmed, Jonathan David and Richie Laryea forming the upfield thrust. Cyle Larin should lead the line on the night.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Crepeau; Johnston, Bombito, Cornelius, Davies; Kone, Eustaquio; Ahmed, David, Laryea; Larin

Venezuela vs Canada: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Canada have not scored a first-half goal all year.
  • Canada have not conceded in the opening 45 minutes for eight consecutive matches.
  • This will be only the third encounter between these two sides, with both previous matches ending in draws, each time with a late equalizer from Canada.
  • A win for Canada will see them make the semifinal of the Copa America for the first time in history.

Player to Watch

Jonathan David

Embed from Getty Images

Jonathan David, the star forward for LOSC Lille, remains the focal point of Canada’s attack and will be the player to watch in this hard-fought quarter-final clash. Expected to make a high-profile move this summer, David’s performance in the Copa America 2024 could significantly boost his prospects.

David’s versatility, combined with his pace and power, makes him a formidable threat. His ability to exploit space and stretch opposing defences will be critical in giving Canada an edge in this knockout game. As Canada’s primary offensive weapon, his contributions will be pivotal to their chances of advancing to the semi-finals.


Venezuela 1-1 Canada (Canada to progress on penalties)

Venezuela’s defensive discipline and recent form give them the edge, but Canada’s spirit and tactical discipline under Jesse Marsch will make this a closely fought contest. The former have the experience but the latter’s thirst to impress could see them get over the line on penalties.

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