Does no European Championships and no World Cup equate to a ‘no footballing’ summer? Absolutely not. Stay up late, set up your alarm clock, and involve yourself in the Copa America, hosted in Brazil this June.
The first match kicks off on June 14th between Brazil and Bolivia, as 12 nations all have a hope that they can go on and win the tournament. Can Lionel Messi finally win a trophy for Argentina? Will Neymar be the hero for Brazil? Or can Chile make it three consecutive victories? Here are the odds for each team, and my predictions!
Copa America 2019 – The Favourites
Odds to win the tournament: 5/4
Brazil have the home advantage and will hope that they can replicate their 1989 success by winning in front of their own supporters. In the World Cup’s in 1950, and recently in 2014, it ended in disaster, so there will be a huge amount of pressure on this current team’s shoulders as they bid to win their first Copa America in 12 years. Managed by Tite, they have plenty of young talent including Everton, Eder Militao, and David Neres, as well as experience including Casameiro, Fernandinho, Thiago Silva and captain Daniel Alves. Let’s not forget their key player, Neymar, who will want to prove he can be the best player in South America this summer. It would be a failure if they don’t win it, and despite me thinking that they will go far, I see them falling just a bit short.
My Prediction: Brazil to be runners-up
Odds to win the tournament: 7/2
How cruel is it to be an Argentine in recent years? In a generation where they arguably have the best player ever, they have managed to lose four finals, with three of them coming since 2014, and the last two ending on penalties to Chile. They cannot buy a trophy, and Lionel Messi surely will see this as his last ever chance to win the Copa America. They are more than Messi though, with fantastic players such as Aguero, Di Maria, and Paulo Dybala. After a disappointing showing at the World Cup, can they win this major tournament in their rivals back yard? Here’s hoping so!
My Prediction: Argentina to win Copa America
The Dark Horses
Odds to win the tournament: 8/1
Uruguay are the most successful side in this competitions history, and find themselves 3rd favourites to win it. The squad has abundance of experience with Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin being defensive rocks at the back, and in attack they have Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez – the latter who will be facing a late fitness test following an injury. Uruguay have the pedigree in this tournament, the ability to beat anyone on their day, and should be considered to go all the way.
My Prediction: Beaten Semi-Finalists
Odds to win the tournament: 9/1
Colombia won the tournament last in 2001 when they hosted it, which remains their only Copa America triumph in their history. They boast a decent squad now with James Rodriguez still their key man, with strikers Radamel Falcao and Duvan Zapata up front. Most of you will know Falcao, but it’s the latter who will be their biggest goal threat, having scored more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A, that helped Atalanta qualify for the Champions League. Can Colombia surprise us? The bookmakers seem to think so.
My Prediction: Colombia to be beaten quarter-finalists
Odds to win the tournament: 10/1
Chile are the two-time defending champions of Copa America, having won the tournament in both 2015 and 2016. The first time was in Chile, and the 2nd time was in the USA, but despite the location being different, the end result was the same – Chile beat Argentina on penalties to win the cup. Star men Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal are coming towards the end of their careers, and are not the players they once were. In addition to that, Claudio Bravo is didn’t make the squad following an injury so Chile are not in the best shape. Will they go for that hat-trick of wins? Or will their luck continue to run out?
My Prediction: Beaten quarter-finalists
Copa America 2019 – The Underdogs
Peru (20/1), Paraguay (25/1), Ecuador (33/1), Japan (33/1), Venezuela (33/1) – to win the Tournament
No team from outside of South America usually plays it with a lot of intensity or real care, so that rules a talented Japanese side out. Venezuela and Ecuador remain the two South American teams that are yet to win, and there is nothing to suggest that they will shock the world and overcome all the favourites in this tournament. Perhaps a semi-final appearance would be their real target here. As for Peru, they are at decent odds at 20/1, as everyone has seen how well they can perform, at last year’s World Cup, and qualifying for it too. Also, they recorded a 1-0 success over Brazil in the last tournament. They may go further than the quarter finals this time around. Finally, for Paraguay, they will hope to end 40 years of hurt with success here, but in a group that contains Argentina and Colombia – they could get eliminated early on.
Peru – Beaten Semi-finalists
Paraguay – Eliminated in the Group Stage
Ecuador – Beaten quarter-finalists
Japan – Eliminated in the Group Stage
Venezuela – Beaten quarter-finalists
The Huge Outsiders
Bolivia (40/1), Qatar (100/1)
Bolivia have been knocked out of the group stage in four of the last five Copa Americas, with their best performance being a quarter final. They have to face Brazil and Peru in their group, and I cannot see them getting points in those fixtures. A quarter final appearance would be considered a huge success, but a win is near-impossible. As for Qatar, well, they did win the Asia Cup this year already, by beating Japan in the final. The 2022 World Cup hosts will make their first ever appearance in the Copa America, and will use it for good practice in another huge world-wide tournament ahead of next summer. Realistically though, I expect them to lose Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay in their group games.
Bolivia – Eliminated in the Group Stage
Qatar – Eliminated in the Group Stage
That concludes all 12 participants in the Copa America this year with their odds and my predictions. Let’s hope it’s a great tournament like the recent versions, and all the best with your outright winner bets![geot country="US,CA" ]
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