Article written

  • on 01.07.2011
  • at 12:45 PM
  • by KT

Copa America 2011 – Betting Preview

Are The Hosts Being Sold Down The River?

The Copa America 2011 gets underway tonight so expect goals, cards and plenty of Latin flair between now and the final which will be held in Buenos Aires on the 24th July.

The tournament will be held in Argentina and features ten of South America’s top football teams, plus two ‘invited’ teams from other continental associations. This time around Japan and Mexico were given the wildcards but due to the earthquake, the Japanese team had to withdraw, with Costa Rica taking the final place instead.

The event consists of 3 groups in what can only be described as awkward format to say the least. The cynics amongst you may believe that the format is built around ensuring that the two favourites, Brazil and Argentina, don’t face each other until the final, a suggestion which cannot be ignored (4/5 with SkyBet for exactly that to happen) when looking at the Copa America betting.

Even so the South American event is always a footballing treat with so much talent on show and is sure to throw up some exciting games in the early stages.

We’ve previewed the big tournament, teams and the big name players likely to make an impact and highlighted our best bets for Copa America.  So get your bets on, sit back and Samba your way through the night with a Caipirinha or three.

Copa America Logo

Argentina

The historic relegation of Argentina’s most illustrious football club is still sending shock waves through the country. With the media pressure expected to shift to the national team, the hosts will be hoping to bring an abrupt end to the dominance of their nemesis, Brazil.

The hosts are unsurprisingly favourites (Evs with Bet365) and with good reason. With the likes of Gonzalo Higuaín, Carlos Tevez, Ángel di María and of course world footballer of the year Lionel Messi in the ranks, the team is bursting with attacking talent.

Coach Sergio Batista also has a strong midfield at his disposal comprising of Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso and Argentina’s most capped player, Javier Zanetti.

One weakness, if any, is the defence. Argentina are just as likely to concede goals as they are to score them, and for the early stages this might not be too much of a problem (sharing a group with Colombia, Bolivia and Costa Rica), but if they meet Brazil in the final it may well prove to be their downfall.

Brazil

Brazil have a great Copa America record having won it eight times (including four of the last five). They come into this as reigning champions after beating Argentina in 2007 final. Here they will be looking to complete the Copa America hat-trick (they also beat arch-rivals Argentina on penalties in 2004) and can be backed at 2/1 with Bet365.

Like the hosts, Brazil have an array of attacking ability right throughout their squad, with Neymar (10/1 with Paddy Power for Top Goalscorer), Robinho, Elano and Daniel Alves to name but a few. In addition they also have a strong back-line and goalkeeper, boasting international stars such as Maicon, Thiago Silva, Júlio César and enigmatic captain Lúcio. Its worth noting that they have only conceded 2 goals since their shock elimination at the hands of the Dutch last Summer.

Both Brazil and Argentina will be looking to make up for disappointing World Cup 2010 campaigns and anything short of lifeting the Copa America trophy here will be deemed a failure.

The main difference between Brazil and Argentina could well be that the former know how to grind out results and win big tournaments, a trait that always seems to elude the latter when the going gets tough.

Best of the Rest

Uruguay (11/1 with SkyBet) are a team which have historically done well in the Copa America having won it 14 times, the same as Argentina, although their last triumph was back in 1995.

In recent years the Uruguayian national side have gone through somewhat of a resurgence following the development of talented players such as Diego Forlan, Lius Suarez and Edinson Cavani. They should qualify from the Group stages here at what looks a decent price (6/5 with Paddy Power to win Group C).

Chile (12/1 with Paddy Power) have reached the Copa America final four times but are yet to taste success. They last reached the final in 1987 and will do well to get there this time around. That said, they performed well at the World Cup 2010, beating both Switzerland and Honduras, as well as giving Spain a scare.

Their star player is the sought after Alexis Sánchez who has scored 13 goals in his 36 caps to date, a great return for a nation such as Chile. The question-marks remain though as to whether they have enough quality throughout the rest of the squad to progress much further than the group stages. That said they could easily make the quarter finals as Group C runners-up should they manage to beat Peru and Mexico.

Colombia (33/1 with Victor Chandler) find themselves in the same group as Argentina but will be happy to play second fiddle so long as they progress. After failing to qualify for the last two World Cups, they have opted to go for a young squad here in an attempt to build for the future. They have a number of attacking options, namely Hugo Rodellega and Radamel Falcao. They could well progress as runners-up in Group A, but whether they can mount a serious challenge to the ‘big 2′ is debatable at best.

Paraguay (25/1 with Bet365) were 7 minutes away from taking Spain to a penalty shoot-out in last summer’s World Cup and boast a mean defence, whilst they will be reliant on in-form striker Lucas Barrios to lead their attack.

Selections:

** Remember to stay up to date with all the Copa America live scores and results in our Live Score Centre » **

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