The Copa America 2019 takes center stage over the next month and will breathe some life back into a baron summer of football. Form Labs bring you their tournament betting preview and tips and if that isn’t enough check back everyday as the tipster experts cover every fixture of the tournament to help guide you into making an educated betting decision! If you are after some value, then check out our FanBoost section which will host enhanced odds throughout the showpiece.
Big Guns Expected To Dominate
There’s plenty of rotation when it comes to hosting the Copa America and of course, the weaker CONMEBOL nations don’t typically make it to the latter rounds of the tournament unless aided by the local environment.
However, the better hosts nations do have a decent record of going all the way with Uruguay (1995), Colombia (2001) and Chile (2015) all winning within the past nine editions on home soil – while even Bolivia reached the final in 1997 before being outclassed by Brazil in La Paz.
We wouldn’t give a chance to the likes of La Verde without altitude to rely upon here though, and with this edition hosted by Brazil, we’d expect one of the big guns to come out on top in the end.
Copa America 2019 Format
The centenary edition of the Copa America in 2016 saw 16 teams compete as the tournament was held in the USA, but it’s gone back to the usual 12-team format with three groups of four.
The top two in each group are joined by the two best third-placed sides, while on this occasion there’s no Central or North American teams invited to participate as is customary.
AFC Asian Cup finalists Japan (hosts of the 2020 Olympics) and Qatar (2022 World Cup) are joining in on the action in Brazil, but they’ll be disheartened by the fact that that Mexico are the only non-CONMEBOL nation to ever reach the final, finishing runners-up in 1993 and 2001.
In fact, the last time one of the top five sides in the betting this time around – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Chile – didn’t lift the trophy was Paraguay back in 1979, so we’d be shocked if one of the outsiders ends up lifting the trophy.
Given Brazil have one of the strongest teams on paper, home advantage to call upon, as well as benefiting from the weakest group, they start as strong favourites with good reason – though whether they should be so close to Evens is another matter.
Of the teams in Russia last summer, the Selecao looked best equipped to mount a challenge as they played some decent football and could have set up a huge semi-final tie with eventual champions France if they’d taken their chances against Belgium in the quarters. In theory, Brazil ought to possess some considerable stability with a relatively settled squad and an experienced manager in Tite who has been at the helm for three years now.
However, star man Neymar’s injury complicates things and in actual fact, going back to the infamous 7-1 defeat in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 World Cup, five of Brazil’s last seven defeats have come in his absence, while they also crashed out of the 2015 Copa America on penalties without him. Worryingly, of those eight games in total, all but one came in competitive action.
Argentina have enjoyed various triumphs at youth level over the years, but the big trophies have eluded them, with the last major silverware they lifted being this tournament back in 1993.
They’ve come mightily close though, taking Germany to extra time in the 2014 World Cup, as well as losing on penalties to Chile in the finals of both the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America.
However, whereas they kept eight clean sheets from 12 matches across those last two editions, the likes of Javier Mascherano, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta are no longer around to fight fires, while Sergio Romero has been overlooked after spending another season on Man Utd’s bench.
They failed to keep a clean sheet in all four outings in Russia last summer as they shipped nine goals in total, but although they’ve shut out their opponents in six of nine subsequent matches, these games were of varying quality.
Indeed, they recently conceded three times facing Venezuela on Messi’s return to the side in March, as well as a consolation effort for Central American minnows Nicaragua in their final pre-tournament friendly.
A discontented squad at last summers’ World Cup has a new but unproven manager to lead them, and Lionel Scaloni will likely find the better teams are able to take advantage of their defensive deficiencies.
Unlike main group rivals Argentina, Colombia benefit from greater options to choose between at the heart of the defence, with Yerry Mina (Everton) and Davinson Sanchez (Spurs) likely to form Carlos Queiroz’s main partnership, so they shouldn’t be conceding too many goals.
Meanwhile, with Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Duvan Zapata in their ranks, they shouldn’t be short on firepower either. Los Cafeteros have reached the knockout rounds of the past two World Cups, made quarter-final appearances in the 2011 and 2015 Copa’s, while they managed a third-place finish in the centenary edition.
Having enjoyed largely good results since the World Cup, where they took a vibrant England side to penalties, they’ll fancy their chances of winning Group B over the more fancied Argentines and in all likelihood land themselves a more favourable knockout draw.
Uruguay have for a long time been heavily reliant upon strike duo Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez for output, though the latter appears to have made swift progress and returned from injury to score in their final pre-tournament friendly.
Meanwhile, back-up striker Christian Stuani is enjoying a late career bloom with 40 goals over the past two seasons in La Liga, and he also bagged three goals and an assist in the March internationals as both Suarez and Cavani were absent through injury to prove his worth. Should the dangermen not fire, Uruguay can rely upon a mean defence.
The stubborn steel moulded at Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone means the centre-back partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez benefit from the additional advantage of well-honed familiarity.
Moreover, there’s been a renewal in midfield over the past couple of years as Juventus and Arsenal pair Rodrigo Bentancur and Lucas Torreira (21 and 23 respectively) join the more experienced Matias Vecino in the middle.
Chile may have won the past two editions of this tournament but find themselves behind Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia in the betting and it’s easy to see why they’re not so fancied this time around.
Star man Alexis Sanchez has endured a horrible dip in form since joining Man Utd in January 2018 and Chile’s all-time top scorer will certainly have to up his game.
Their other key player in recent years, Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, hasn’t been scoring as many goals in recent campaigns since his spell at Juventus (2011-2015).
Further back, goalkeeper, captain and penalty hero of those two Copa America triumphs, Claudio Bravo, was deemed unfit having missed the entire season through injury and hasn’t made the squad at all.
Copa America 2019 Betting Tips
Of the five main contenders, Brazil appear too short at the prices without star man Neymar. Argentina are poor value with a shoddy backline, while Chile appear overpriced on the back of past success as an ageing team that will have to play three games in the space of eight days in Group C.
In fact, their chances are further reduced by the fact that 11 of the past 12 winners of the Copa America have featured in the most recent World Cup, which they failed to qualify for.
Colombia and Uruguay offer the best value at the prices, though the latter are record 15-time champions in this tournament and with quality all over the pitch, La Celeste will relish their underdog status compared to Brazil and Argentina.
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