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France grab late winner against England1

French late show sinks England

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Copa America: Tournament format, squad lists, groups, fixtures and outright betting preview

Our guide to the 2019 Copa America
Our guide to the 2019 Copa America

The Copa America gets under way on Saturday with 12 teams going for glory. We have all you need to know, including two 40/1 best bets.


Recommended bets

1pt e.w. Venezuela to win the 2019 Copa America at 40/1

1pt e.w. Duvan Zapata to be the top goalscorer at the 2019 Copa America at 40/1

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Who will win?

The 2019 Copa America gets under way on Saturday with hosts Brazil the clear favourites to secure their first major trophy since 2013.

That came as hosts of the FIFA Confederations Cup, although the Copa America has proven to be a problematic tournament for them in recent years.

The quarter-finals are the furthest Brazil have gone in the past three editions of the competition, but other than that sequence everything points towards success for Gabriel Jesus and co. this time around.

Brazil line up in Group A alongside Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru and should have little issue in progressing as winners. The route to the final could be simple from there, although as we have seen in previous World Cups, nothing seems straightforward when it comes to international football.

The 11/8 available is still a tempting price for a team with significant strength in all areas alongside home support. Argentina are next in the betting at 7/2, with Uruguay and Colombia the other two sides available to back at lower than 10/1.

Argentina always look a tough side to beat, but success has evaded them and they are struggling to reach the heights of the late-1970s and 1980s.

Germany denied them a third World Cup with success in extra-time in 2014, while they've had to settle for the runner-up position in four of the last five Copa America tournaments.

It's been tough, and the last World Cup underlined the fact they do have issues when it comes to major tournaments. They crashed out in the Round of 16, winning just one of their four games in Russia, leading to a change with Lionel Scaloni now in charge.

Argentina crashed out of the World Cup at the Round of 16 stage
Argentina crashed out of the World Cup at the Round of 16 stage

While it's always difficult to analyse results in the build-up to a tournament, and Argentina's on the whole have been good, that lack of experience in the dugout, coupled with a few novice players coming through, could signal further disappointment.

Indeed, even Lionel Messi is eager to play down Argentina's chances, that's despite them being the second favourites across the board.

"We are not candidates like other times," Messi told TyC Sports.

"We will go with the same dreams and excitement as always, but the reality is that Argentina is going through a process of change."

The value could be elsewhere and there is each-way appeal in the 40/1 about Venezuela, who will face Brazil in group action on Matchday 2.

It has to be acknowledged that their best ever finish in this competition was fourth in 2011. They are still awaiting their first appearance at a World Cup finals, but based on showings in recent years, I'd back them to make Qatar in 2022.

That's because the Venezuelan national team have rocketed up the FIFA World Rankings over the past four years. 2014 saw them become the worst mover as they dropped down to 89th overall, that coupled with finishing bottom of their Copa America group in 2015, concluding that year in 87th.

Venezuela slumped to a low point in 2015
Venezuela slumped to a low point in 2015

Even in 2016 they found themselves in 83rd. However, that year was when progress started to be made again, and they went from the worst mover to the best as they shot up to 46th.

The latest rankings released in April of this year have Venezuela at 29th. That's their best ever position in the World Rankings and it highlights the strength of football in the nation currently.

Not only have the senior side improved, but that's been coupled by the impact of Venezuela at youth level too.

They experienced an almost 'golden generation' in 2017 where, making just their second appearance at a FIFA U20 World Cup, they finished as runners-up - beaten only by England in the final.

That England loss was their only one of the tournament, too. Remarkably, they didn't concede a goal before the quarter-finals, with 11 scored in the four games up to that point.

That trend continued into the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. The football part is considered an under-21s tournament, and Venezuela again earned a silver medal after defeat to Colombia.

Like 2017, they finished top of their group with three victories. While there hasn't been a complete overhaul of the current senior squad, some of those exciting youngsters have been introduced in order to improve their chances of success.

Venezuela under-20s are welcomed back home in 2017
Venezuela under-20s are welcomed back home in 2017

Wuiler Farinez, Joel Graterol, Ronald Hernandez, Yangel Herrera and Yeferson Soteldo are five players who are in this Copa America squad who secured a medal in 2017.

Graterol and Hernandez were also both involved at the Games in 2018. Other youngsters, the likes of Yeferson Soteldo and Jefferson Savarino, were in the senior squad over that same period.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, former Newcastle man Nobby Solano, who is the a member of the Peru coaching staff, highlighted Venezuela as a potential danger team.

"Venezuela have improved in the last eight years and I know their manager Rafael Dudamel very well," he said.

"(Salomon) Rondon is a superstar for them but they have Tomas Rincon too and others who can influence games.

"We're in a tough group with the hosts Brazil and Bolivia. The first game is tough enough but there are no easy points on offer."

As mentioned there, Venezuela also possess a striker in Rondon who comes into the tournament on the back of a really positive season in the Premier League on-loan at Newcastle.

Salomon Rondon is Venezuela's all-time top goalscorer
Salomon Rondon is Venezuela's all-time top goalscorer

His two early goals in their final warm-up game against the USA recently also made the West Brom man the top goalscorer in his national team's history.

That record, coupled with his direct involvement in 19 goals for Rafa Benitez's men last campaign, ensure he will come into this tournament high on confidence. It may be enough to get Venezuela out of their group, even as runners-up to the favourites.

Rondon can be backed at a best price of 50/1 to be top goalscorer at this tournament, which does again make some each-way appeal, particularly if Venezuela do progress to the latter stages as hoped.

It's a tough ask backing a side who have limited experience on the big stage, especially in situations where silverware is on offer. However, while Brazil may be fancied by many, it's definitely worth casting the net a little further at the prices.

Recent history has shown us how the outsiders can go deep, particularly when South American sides are typically the ones who succumb to consistency at major tournaments.

Argentina have had their issues with winning a trophy, while the likes of Chile and Uruguay bring ageing squads who will be in need of a transition period soon.

The pressure is on those big nations and that could present a side influenced by the ignorance of youth to cause some shocks.

It could clearly go either way with those young players involved, but don't be surprised if you see Venezuela in with a shout of glory when we reach the semi-final stage.

Best bet: Venezuela to win the 2019 Copa America at 40/1 (each-way)

Who will be top goalscorer?

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani

A tough market to call, but one that often provides real value in major tournaments.

Usually, six goals are enough to win you the accolade at the Copa America. Chile's Eduardo Vargas hit that mark in 2016 while 2015 saw the forward split the award with Peru's Paolo Guerrero after both netted just four goals each.

Considering this tournament is an edition with 12 teams as opposed to 16, it's likely that we could see a similar figure required for the top scorer in Brazil.

Messi is the hot favourite on the back of another fantastic season at Barcelona. That said, his goalscoring exploits for his country have been mixed in past tournaments.

He hit five in the 2016 Copa America, but there was just one goal scored at both the 2018 World Cup and Copa America in 2015. Despite captaining them to the World Cup final in 2014, he failed to score in 450 minutes of knockout football after the group stage.

Messi is the greatest footballer on the planet, if not in history, but 3/1 looks too risky even if it is a player of his quality.

He's already warned against expectations of this Argentina team and if they end up crashing out early again, there's a very likely chance that several players would overtake his tally in the knockouts.

Instead, consider another outsider in the shape of 40/1 shot Duvan Zapata, the Colombian who netted his first goal for his country in their final warm-up game against Peru.

Colombia celebrate Duvan Zapata's goal
Colombia celebrate Duvan Zapata's goal

The 28-year-old made a handful of international appearances in 2017, but his form this season has cemented his place in the Colombian national team going forward.

Zapata is battling Radamel Falcao and Luis Muriel for places in the starting XI, but given his showings for Atalanta, it's difficult to argue against him featuring for a side who are expected to go far in this competition.

If Colombia are serious about winning Copa America this year then Zapata has to be the preferred choice of striker over Muriel, particularly in the form he is in.

In a season where Atalanta secured their place in the Champions League by finishing third in Serie A, Zapata flourished and netted a huge 28 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions.

Twenty-three of those goals came in the league. That's impressive enough on face value, but the fact that only one of those goals came before November highlights the form he is heading into this tournament.

Thirteen of his goals came during an explosive couple of months in December and January, while he also struck against high-flyers Juventus, Roma and Napoli in the second half of the season, demonstrating that it doesn't really matter how strong the opposition is.

Duvan Zapata helped to fire Atalanta into the Champions League
Duvan Zapata helped to fire Atalanta into the Champions League

Group B looks wide open given that we're unsure what exactly to expect from Argentina. Colombia have enough to finish higher than Paraguay and Qatar though and their route to the final could work in their favour.

That'll create opportunities for goals and the Copa America has historically shown us that it is a tournament that can see big scorelines, particularly between two sides of contrasting quality.

Colombia's game against Qatar could be the one with goals given that there are 43 places separating the teams in the World Rankings and our man could help himself to a couple.

A price of 40/1 looks extremely generous given his season. It's uncertain whether he will start, but he's done everything he can already to show why he is the preferred choice to Muriel up front.

If he does feature, even if it's from the bench, you'd expect goals from him. Zapata has attracted Premier League interest and will want to use this tournament to improve his position in the shop window for the summer's transfer market.

The top goalscorer market often relies on a team performing well alongside the player themselves. However, in Colombia, we have a side capable of being among the last-four.

Best bet: Duvan Zapata to be the top goalscorer at 40/1 (each-way)

Chile won the Copa America in 2015
Chile won the Copa America in 2015

Groups and format

There are a total of 12 teams involved, split into three groups of four.

The top two in each group will progress to the knockout stages, alongside the two best teams from the three who finish in third. That creates a total of eight teams for the next round.

In the quarter-finals, there is no extra-time and matches level after 90 minutes will go straight to a penalty shootout. Extra-time is introduced at the semi-final stage, while it is also in use for the final and third-place play-off. A fourth substitute is allowed for each team in extra-time.

The groups for the 2019 Copa America are:

Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru

Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Qatar

Group C: Uruguay, Ecuador, Japan, Chile

The quarter-final schedule is:

  • Winner Group A v 3rd in Group B/C
  • Runner-up Group A v Runner-up Group B
  • Winner Group B v Runner-up Group C
  • Winner Group C v 3rd in Group A/B
Paraguay will come up against Argentina
Paraguay will come up against Argentina

Fixtures

Group A

June 14 - Brazil v Bolivia

June 15 - Venezuela v Peru

June 18 - Bolivia v Peru

June 18 - Brazil v Venezuela

June 22 - Peru v Brazil

June 22 - Bolivia v Venezuela

Group B

June 15 - Argentina v Colombia

June 16 - Paraguay v Qatar

June 19 - Colombia v Qatar

June 19 - Argentina v Paraguay

June 23 - Qatar v Argentina

June 23 - Colombia v Paraguay

Group C

June 16 - Uruguay v Ecuador

June 17 - Japan v Chile

June 20 - Uruguay v Japan

June 21 - Ecuador v Chile

June 24 - Chile v Uruguay

June 24 - Ecuador v Japan

Gabriel Jesus in action for Brazil
Gabriel Jesus in action for Brazil

Squad lists

Brazil

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio

Defenders: Dani Alves, Fagner, Alex Sandro, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marquinhos, Eder Militao

Midfielders: Casemiro, Fernandinho, Arthur, Allan, Lucas Paqueta, Philippe Coutinho, Willian

Forwards: Everton, David Neres, Richarlison, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus

Bolivia

Goalkeepers: Carlos Lampe, Ruben Cordano, Javier Rojas

Defenders: Marvin Bejarano, Diego Bejarano, Luis Haquin, Adrian Jusino, Mario Cuellar, Saul Torres, Roberto Fernandez, Jose Mario Carrasco

Midfielders: Alejandro Chumacero, Raul Castro, Erwin Saavedra, Leonel Justiniano, Samuel Galindo, Fernando Saucedo, Diego Wayar, Paul Arano

Forwards: Marcelo Martins, Gilbert Alvarez, Rodrigo Ramallo, Leonardo Vaca

Venezuela

Goalkeepers: Wuilker Farinez, Rafael Romo, Joel Graterol

Defenders: Roberto Rosales, Mikel Villanueva, Rolf Feltscher, John Chancellor, Yordan Osorio, Ronald Hernandez, Luis Mago

Midfielders: Tomas Rincon, Luis Manuel Seijas, Arquimedes Figuera, Jhon Murillo, Darwin Machis, Junior Moreno, Adalberto Penaranda, Yangel Herrera, Luis Gonzalez, Jefferson Savarino

Forwards: Salomon Rondon, Josef Martinez, Fernando Aristeguieta

Peru

Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caceda, Patricio Alvarez

Defenders: Luis Advincula, Carlos Zambrano, Miguel Trauco, Aldo Corzo, Alexander Callens, Miguel Araujo, Anderson Santamaria, Luis Abram

Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Renato Tapia, Christofer Gonzales, Jesus Pretell, Paolo Hurtado

Forwards: Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero, Andre Carillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Andy Polo

Lionel Messi: The Argentina ace netted his 47th senior hat-trick
Lionel Messi is the main man in Group B

Argentina

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Agustin Marchesin, Esteban Andrada

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi, Ramiro Funes Mori, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico, German Pezzella, Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth

Midfielders: Angel Di Maria, Roberto Pereyra, Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Exequiel Palacios, Guido Rodriguez, Ivan Marcone

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez, Matias Suarez

Colombia

Goalkeepers: David Ospina, Camilo Vargas, Alvaro Montero

Defenders: Cristian Zapata, Santiago Arias, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, William Tesillo, Cristian Borja, Stefan Medina, Jhon Lucumi

Midfielders: Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez, Edwin Cardona, Wilmar Barrios, Mateus Uribe, Jefferson Lerma, Gustavo Cuellar

Forwards: Radamel Falcao, Luis Muriel, Roger Martinez, Duvan Zapata, Luis Diaz

Paraguay

Goalkeepers: Antony Silva, Roberto Junior Fernandez, Alfredo Aguilar

Defenders: Gustavo Gomez, Ivan Piris, Bruno Valdez, Junior Alonso, Fabian Balbuena, Juan Escobar, Santiago Arzamendia, Ivan Torres

Midfielders: Oscar Romero, Richard Ortiz, Rodrigo Rojas, Miguel Almiron, Celso Ortiz, Matias Rojas

Forwards: Oscar Cardozo, Hernan Perez, Derlis Gonzalez, Federico Santander, Cecilio Dominguez, Juan Iturbe

Qatar

Goalkeepers: Saad Al Sheeb, Youssef Hassan, Mohammed Al Bakri

Defenders: Tareq Salman, Abdulkarim Hassam, Hamed Ismael, , Tameem Al-Muhaza, Assim Madebo, Salem Alhajri, Ahmed Fathy, Pedro Correira, Al Mahdi Ali, Bassam Husham

Midfielders: Boualem Khoukhi, Karim Boudiaf, Ali Afif, Abdulaziz Hatim, Abdullah Abdul Salam

Forwards: Akram Afif, Hassan Al Haydos, Almoez Ali, Ahmed Al Aaeldin, Ahmed Moein, Abdulaziz Al Ansari

Uruguay's Luis Suarez
Uruguay's Luis Suarez

Uruguay

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana

Defenders: Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, Marcelo Sarrachi

Midfielders: Giovanni Gonzalez, Diego Laxalt, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Nahitan Nandez, Federico Valverde, Nicolas Lodeiro, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Gaston Pereiro

Forward: Edinson Cavani, Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Jonathan Rodriguez, Luis Suarez

Ecuador

Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez, Pedro Ortiz, Maximo Banguera

Defenders: Arturo Mina, Roberto Arboleda, Pedro Pablo Velasco, Cristian Ramirez, Xavier Arreaga, Jose Quintero, Beder Caicedo, Gabriel Achilier

Midfielders: Romario Ibarra, Renato Ibarra, Carlos Gruezo, Jefferson Intriago, Antonio Valencia, Ayrton Preciado, Jefferson Orejuela, Andres Chicaiza, Jhegson Mendez

Forwards: Carlos Garces, Angel Mena, Enner Valencia

Japan

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima, Ryosuke Kojima, Keisuke Osako

Defenders: Naomichi Ueda, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Tomoki Iwata, Ko Itakura, Daiki Sugioka, Teruki Hara, Daiki Suga, Yugo Tatsuta

Midfielders: Yuta Nakayama, Gaku Shibasaki, Shoya Nakajima, Takefusa Kubo, Tatsuya Ito, Koji Miyoshi, Kota Watanabe, Hiroki Abe, Taishi Matsumoto

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki, Daizen Maeda, Ayase Ueda

Chile

Goalkeepers: Gabriel Arias, Brayan Cortes, Yerko Urra

Defenders: Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Mauricio Isla, Jean Beausejour, Paulo Diaz, Guillermo Maripan, Igor Lichnovsky, Oscar Opazo

Midfielders: Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz, Pedro Pablo Hernandez, Erick Pulgar, Diego Valdes, Esteban Pavez

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas, Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, Nicolas Castillo, Junior Fernandes, Angelo Sagal


Odds correct at 1600 BST (10/06/19)

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