Copa America outright tips: Who to back to win in Brazil
With the South American tournament getting under way this week, we give our best tips to lift the trophy in Rio this summer.
Best outright bet
Hosts and eight-time champions Brazil come into the tournament as heavy favourites, and with good reason.
They have won 29 and lost just two of their 36 matches under manager Tite, who was given a new contract after the 2018 World Cup that will take him through to 2022.
That’s allowed him to start regenerating an ageing squad by integrating exciting, younger players such as Arthur, Richarlison and David Neres – additions that mean they’re unlikely to feel the absence of Neymar too heavily.
Tite’s side are in excellent form, too, after beating Honduras 7-0 in their final warm-up friendly last weekend – their ninth victory in 10 matches since losing to Belgium in the World Cup quarter-final last summer.
They’ve been placed in a comparatively easy group alongside Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia, with all group winners facing a third-placed side in the quarters.
Brazil have won the Copa America the last four times they have hosted the tournament, and this one should make it five.
If not Brazil, then who?
Argentina are the side immediately below Brazil in the betting but, at , they don’t hold much value.
They’re still recovering from a disastrous World Cup campaign, with a 3-1 defeat to Venezuela during the previous international break evidence of their hangover.
Your best bet away from the favourite is with Colombia at .
Los Cafeteros haven’t won this tournament since 2001, which remains their only major honour, but this year looks a good chance to change that.
They travel to Brazil with an impressive mix of youth and experience, including Davinson Sanchez, Radamel Falcao and Duvan Zapata, who netted 26 goals for Atalanta last season.
And, in Carlos Queiroz, they have a pragmatic coach who is capable of navigating them through a tournament.
Colombia should finish top of their group, ahead of Argentina, Paraguay and Qatar and are likely to face a Chile side on the downturn in the quarter-final.
Venezuela are a long shot, but offer some each-way value at .
A 3-1 victory over Argentina in the previous international break shows that they have to be taken seriously, while they also beat USA 3-0 in their final warm-up friendly.
La Vinotinto come into the Copa America with a strong squad, which includes Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon, last season’s MLS top scorer Josef Martinez and Torino midfielder Tomas Rincon.
They should be helped by the format, which sees just four of the 12 teams drop out after the group stage.
The draw has also been kind to them and they will benefit by playing Brazil in the group stage, rather than early in the knock-out rounds.
While they’re unlikely to lift the trophy, they could cause some shocks over the next month and return a bit of money each-way.
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