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Copa América 2015: This summer’s hottest tournament

09 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Copa América 2015: This summer’s hottest tournament

It’s been almost a year since the eyes of the world were on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, and 12 months on attentions return to South America once again.

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It’s been almost a year since the eyes of the world were on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, and 12 months on attentions return to South America once again for one of the most hotly anticipated Copa América tournaments in recent memory.

Last year witnessed a rise in the fortunes of the continent’s teams, and with Chile playing host to the carnival of football this time around, expect more of the same when the curtain’s raised on 11th June.

Five of the continent’s six representatives reached the knockout stages of the World Cup, and following a club season in which South American stars were once again the key protagonists across the globe’s major leagues, it all makes for a perfect storm of football.

Last summer, Lionel Messi fired Argentina to their first final in 24 years, and agonisingly close to a first major trophy since 1993. Meanwhile, Colombia’s new generation underlined their potential, and Chile captured the imagination by dumping then-reigning champions Spain out of the competition.

That has naturally upped the stakes for this year’s competing countries to perform, and it’s no surprise that Argentina are strong favourites to do so at 15/8, while Brazil (3/1) will be expected to make amends for their semi-final humbling by eventual World Champions Germany.

But there’s more beyond the two heavyweights. Chile (4/1) will be buoyed by raucous home support, Colombia (6/1) will fancy their chances after reaching the World Cup quarter finals for the first time in their history, and while Uruguay (14/1) will be without the inspirational Luis Suarez – still serving his nine-match international ban – the reigning Copa América champions certainly have the talent to retain their title.

The so-called smaller nations must not be ruled out either. In the 2011 iteration of the competition, Peru and Venezuela surprised many by finishing third and fourth respectively, while Paraguay were runners-up.

This year’s tournament follows the familiar format of 12 teams split across three groups, with governing body CONMEBOL’s 10 member countries featuring entirely and two invitational guest spots being awarded to Mexico and Jamaica.

As usual, the top two of each group advance to the knockout stages, with the two best third-placed teams also progressing. The tournament then follows the standard knockout format from there.

This really is a tournament of unpredictability, so make sure you stay informed and clued up on every team competing by reading Betway’s team-by-team previews below.

Group A Preview: Chile; Ecuador; Mexico; Bolivia

Group B Preview: Argentina; Uruguay; Paraguay; Jamaica

Group C Preview: Brazil; Colombia; Peru; Venezuela