One of the most colourful competitions in world football is almost upon us, as we look forward to the 2019 edition of the Copa America. With swathes of talented players setting out on the road to glory, we’re having a look at the best bets for the Copa America outright winner.
Unfortunately, one of the game’s most talented stars has been shorn from the competition. Paris Saint-Germain forward and Brazil talisman Neymar picked up an ankle injury in a warm-up fixture, denying the host nation of their leading man. The strength of this Brazil team isn’t in the individual though, and Tite’s side is grittier than previous iterations of the Selecao.
There’s still lots of quality throughout the Brazil squad, while the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino and Richarlison will all be doing their utmost to prove they’ve got what it takes to replace Neymar. Philippe Coutinho is desperate for a strong tournament after a disappointing 18 months at Barcelona, while Casemiro, Fernandinho and Arthur bring a range of qualities to midfield.
Experienced duo Dani Alves and Thiago Silva are still going strong at the back, while the Selecao boss has a great choice of goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, the best two stoppers in the Premier League last season. It all amounts to a very strong squad that will enjoy home advantage, making Brazil the Copa America favourites at 6/5.
They may have a compelling case, but a strong Brazil team has choked on home soil before. Who could forget the infamous 7-1 mauling at the hands of Germany in the semi-final of their home World Cup in 2014? That begs the question, who’s got what it takes to silence the Brazilian fans this time round?
Argentina look best placed to do that, with a team dotted with superstars including the biggest of them all at this tournament, Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s magician is looking to finally end his international hoodoo by lifting a title with his country, the missing piece to the jigsaw of trophies that makes up his career.
With the likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in support, this could finally be the time for Messi to deliver on the international stage. Argentina are the second favourites in the betting, priced at 15/4. Back-to-back champions Chile are out at 14/1, but with the decline of star names such as record appearance maker and goalscorer Alexis Sanchez, it’s tough to see La Roja making it an improbable three in a row.
Uruguay on the other hand could be worth a look if you fancy the big two to miss out once again. Any team that boasts Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani up front are going to be tough to beat, especially when you factor in a centre-back pairing of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. La Celeste aren’t as strong in midfield, which is a crucial area for success in tournament football, but Oscar Tabarez’s resilient side could be worth a look as an outside bet at 15/2 to win the tournament.