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Copa América 2015 Group A

09 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Copa América 2015 Group A

The 2015 Copa América kicks off on Thursday 11th June (00:30 GMT Friday 12th June) with hosts Chile taking on Ecuador in Santiago.

The 2015 Copa América kicks off on Thursday 11th June (00:30 GMT Friday 12th June) with hosts Chile taking on Ecuador in Santiago.

As far as opening fixtures go, it’s hardly the most enthralling, but it will help set the narrative for a group that looks, on paper at least, not as easy to predict as everyone is expecting.

Group A features the aforementioned Chile and Ecuador, but is also comprised of Bolivia and guest side Mexico, the latter of whom will certainly fancy their chances to progress as winners.

Here’s everything you need to know about the four sides.

Chile

One of the darlings of last summer’s World Cup, Chile captured the imagination of fans around the world as they humbled then-defending champions Spain and came agonisingly close to dumping Brazil out of the tournament.

As Copa América hosts, there’s a lot of expectation for La Roja to perform well, so it’s little surprise to see them tipped as third favourites at 4/1.

Boasting an array of stars, head coach Jorge Sampaoli will likely stick with his intense style of play and will be aiming for a strong start in Thursday’s curtain-raiser against Ecuador.

Chile have never won the Copa América, but could this be their time?

Star player: Alexis Sánchez

The Arsenal man has emerged as one of the signings of the season, with his 25 goals in all competitions helping the Gunners retain the FA Cup and finish the Premier League season in third spot.

An undoubted talent, Chile boss Sampaoli will be looking to the attacker to carry his form into the tournament, he is priced at 11/1 to be Top Goalscorer at this summer’s tournament.

Ecuador

Ecuador were pretty underwhelming last year, but following a change at the helm with Gustavo Quinteros taking charge in January, there have been some positive performances.

In their latest friendly against Argentina, Los Amarillos looked sharp in attack – although their defence still requires some work. Ecuador haven’t progressed past the group stage since 1997 and they’ll require some very strong performances to do so this time around.

It’s little surprise they’re priced at 6/1 to win Group A.

Star player: Enner Valencia

With Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia ruled out of the tournament through injury, the onus will be on West Ham’s Enner Valencia to provide an attacking impetus for Ecuador.

The striker enjoyed a strong World Cup last summer, which paved the way for a big money move to England. If the rumour mill is to be believed, he could be on the move again with Chelsea monitoring his performances following a solid season.

He is one of the few Ecuador players with genuine ‘star quality’ in what is a very workman-like side.

Mexico

Another country to gain plenty of plaudits from the World Cup were Mexico, who equipped themselves well en route to an agonising last-16 defeat to the Netherlands.

Under the stewardship of boss Miguel Herrera, Mexico have gone from underachievers to a rising force in world football, and that is reflected in their standing at 22/1 to win the Copa América.

One of two invited nations to this year’s tournament (along with Jamaica), it’s looking like a busy summer for the North American side, who are also competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Herrera has placed more emphasis on the latter tournament, and as such has selected a largely home-based squad for the Copa América.

Star player: Rafael Márquez

Unquestionably a legend of the modern game, even at the ripe old age of 36, Rafael Márquez remains Mexico’s star name.

He underlined his enduring quality at last summer’s World Cup and Herrera will be looking to his experienced captain to lead a largely mixed squad in Chile this time around.

Mexico will certainly fancy their chances to escape Group A and you would it expect it to be down to this man if they do.

Bolivia

One of the tournament’s least-favoured sides at 125/1, Bolivia arrive at the Copa América at a bit of a crossroads.

Former player turned national team boss Mauricio Soria only took the reins in March, and has since spoken at length about his desire to implement a new style of football.

This will likely take time and given his country have failed to win outside of La Paz since 1993, little is expected of El Verde in Chile.

Star player: Alejandro Chumacero

While one-time Wigan Athletic star Marcelo Martins Moreno is arguably the most well-known player in the Bolivian squad, holding midfielder Alejandro Chumacero is being touted as one to keep an eye on.

The 24-year-old will provide part of the spine to Soria’s team and his impact for club side The Strongest – who he rejoined last year following a brief spell in Brazil – suggests that he will be one of Bolivia’s central figures.

Group Prediction

Winners: Chile (4/9 to win Group A)

Second place: Mexico (7/2 to win Group A)

Third place: Ecuador (6/1 to win Group A)

Fourth place: Bolivia (20/1 to win Group A)

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