RIO DE JANEIRO, RJ - 07.07.2019: BRAZIL VS. PERU - Firmino and Alisson celebrate title after the match between Brazil and Peru, valid for the Copa America 2019 final, held this Sunday (07) at the Maracan„ Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, RJ. (Photo by Nayra Halm/Fotoarena/Sipa USA)

Liverpool trio face prospect of meeting ex-Red as path to final laid out

Brazil are through to the quarter-finals of Copa America and the defence of their title could see them meet a former Red in the showpiece after the route to the final was confirmed.

While the European championships have been the talk of the town in recent weeks, South America are now heading into the business end of their competition.

After 20 group games and with just Bolivia and Venezuela eliminated, the knockout rounds are now on the horizon for the eight remaining teams.

And that, of course, involves Liverpool’s Brazilian trio of Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino – who have played 180, 185 and 125 minutes respectively so far this summer.

Brazil’s place in the quarter-finals was confirmed after just two of their four group games, where they would go on to top Group B with 10 points – three ahead of Peru.

It has enabled Tite to rotate his side throughout and in the final game against Ecuador, it saw the Reds trio feature from the start for only the second time for their country, the first came back in 2018.

And they will now hope to feature when the stakes are at their highest, with Brazil to meet Chile in the quarter-finals on July 3 at 1am (BST).

NANNING, CHINA - Friday, March 23, 2018: Uruguay's Luis Suárez during the 2018 Gree China Cup International Football Championship match between Uruguay and Czech Republic at the Guangxi Sports Centre. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The winner of the tie would set up a semi-final with either Peru or Paraguay, the former of whom were handed a 4-0 defeat in the second group game by Brazil.

On the other side of the draw, Lionel Messi’s Argentina meet Ecuador and Luis Suarez’s Uruguay will face Colombia – where success for the latter could see the Liverpool trio meet the ex-Red in the final on July 11.

Alternatively, if both were to make it to the semi-final but bow out a third-fourth place playoff would follow to present two chances at a clash with Suarez’s Uruguay.

Suarez left Anfield in 2014 in rather controversial circumstances and he’s not averse to doing whatever it takes to win, as Reds will very well know.

For the Liverpool trio, their place in the quarter-final ensures that a return to Kirkby will happen no sooner than July 25, while a run to the final would delay that to at least August 2 – 12 days prior to the season opener at Norwich.

Those in the UK can tune into Copa America via BBC iPlayer and BBC red button.