While the Euros are going on in France, the Copa America is celebrating it’s centenary year in a special extended competition being held in the USA. The tournament has been underway since last week and the four groups are already beginning to take shape.
It hasn’t disappointed so far with plenty of goals and some shock results thrown in to boot. One of those (minor) shocks was Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay and the latter are strongly fancied to turn it around against Venezuela in their second group match. Uruguay found themselves a goal behind and down to ten men by half-time after Pereira’s own goal and Vecino’s sending off, but they fought back to draw level through Godin’s equaliser after Guardado received his marching orders for Mexico. Two late goals put a gloss on the scoreline, but Uruguay are more than capable of getting back on track against Venezuela, who narrowly beat Jamaica in the group’s other game.
Argentina got off to the perfect start in their campaign, beating Chile 2-1 with goals from Di Maria and Banega, despite Messi missing out due to a slight injury. They continue against Panama and there’s a case for backing them to record a comfortable victory. We’ve already laid out the reasons why Argentina are clear favourites for the tournament and there’s no reason to abandon them after winning arguably the toughest group match first time out.
At the time of writing we’re awaiting the result of our tip on Brazil v Haiti but assuming they win, they’ll still need a positive result in the last group game against Peru on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Meanwhile the USA gave us a first defeat in the Copa America tips as they thumped Costa Rica 4-0, but all will be forgiven if they continue the good work against Paraguay to secure a quarter final spot.
Uruguay v Venezuela
First we’re backing Uruguay at -161 with BoyleSports when they take on Venezuela in the early hours of Friday morning.
As a general note of caution it’s worth keeping an eye on kick off times, because if you’re on GMT time most games kick off overnight so bets need to be placed the day before. This one kicks off at half past midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning.
Uruguay can boast the talents of Suarez and Cavani up front, and there aren’t many better strike partnerships in world football. Prior to the Mexico loss they were on a run of 3 wins in 4 internationals and failure to win here will almost certainly see them out of the tournament.
Venezuela saw off a poor Jamaica side 1-0, but that was just their second win in the last ten games after five defeats and three draws. They’ll be looking for a point here which will give them a great chance of progressing to the knockout stage, but they’ve failed to beat Uruguay in seven matches since 2006. At the odds and with the pressure of needing to win, Uruguay are a solid proposition.
Argentina v Panama
Argentina can’t be backed to win unless you like taking short odds, but a to win to nil pays -143 with BetVictor
Panama beat Bolivia (another rank outsider) 2-1 with a late winner in their first group game, but with matches against Argentina and Chile to follow it will be a hard task to qualify for the quarter finals. For Argentina a second group win here will guarantee their participation in the last eight, and may even give them the opportunity to rest players ahead of the knockouts.
They’re on a run of five wins on the bounce and there’s a good chance that Messi will take to the field for this one. Defensively Argentina are nowhere near as strong as they are going forward, but they have kept three clean sheets in the last five internationals, while Panama have managed just three goals in their last five.
USA v Paraguay
USA were beaten 2-0 by Colombia first time out but bounced back impressively with a 4-0 rout of Costa Rica. They are a fair shout at +110 with Betfred and Totesport to get the three points against Paraguay.
Paraguay drew 0-0 with Costa Rica in their opener before losing 2-1 to Colombia with Romero sent off late on. They’re only chance of qualification is to beat USA and leapfrog them in the group standings, as Colombia have already sewn up a quarter final spot after two wins.
That makes this a do-or-die game for both sides and although a draw would be enough to see USA through, it’s not in their nature to play for the stalemate and Jurgen Klinsmann will have his side fired up to win on home soil. Seven wins in nine games is a good record and there is extra incentive to do well in front of their own fans.
Brazil v Peru
Brazil are expected to beat Haiti in their second group game and can follow up by beating Peru at -161 with BoyleSports when they meet on Sunday night/Monday morning.
A 0-0 draw with Ecuador was not the start Brazil wanted or expected, but they still dominated and have games against arguably the two lesser sides in the group to come. A win over Haiti will put them in a decent position to qualify, but they will most likely still need to win this game to get through to the last eight. They may have weakened the squad for this competition to concentrate on the Olympics in Rio, but they still have incredible quality and it would be a national tragedy if they fell at the first hurdle.
Peru beat Haiti 1-0 in their opener and a good result against Ecuador would put them in a great position to qualify ahead of this game. However, they’ve been beaten each of the last three times they’ve faced Brazil, including twice in the last year.
Uruguay to beat Venezuela
Friday 10th June, 00:30 GMT
Argentina to beat Panama to Nil
Saturday 11th June, 02:30 GMT
USA to beat Paraguay
Sunday 12th June, 00:00 GMT
Brazil to beat Peru
Monday 13th June, 01:30 GMT
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