AFTER a hugely impressive showing at last summer's World Cup are Colombia ready to consolidate their place at football's top table? Tim Vickery (@Tim_Vickery) and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talk you through their chances of success.
- Outright Winner: 6/1 (Paddy Power)
- Group C Winner: 2/1 (BetVictor)
- Top-Two Group C Finish: 2/9 (BetVictor)
- Highest Scoring Team: 8/1 (SkyBet)
- Form Post-World Cup: W6-D0-L1
Tim Vickery's View[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206967640?secret_token=s-z7lN7″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
Mark O'Haire's View
Before the World Cup, Colombian head coach Jose Pekerman said that Brazil 2014 would mark his side’s definitive arrival at football's top table. Los Cafeteros didn’t disappoint, putting in a number of brilliantly dynamic performances to capture hearts around the planet.
But the Colombian boss has been a lot more subdued about the team’s chances of Copa America success, suggesting the current crop are nowhere near the level of last summer. Dampening expectations of the adoring public could be seen as a way of alleviating the pressure surrounding the team but there have been a number of intriguing developments over the past 12 months.
Defensive lynchpin and stalwart skipper Mario Yepes has moved on and Pekerman’s focus over the next month is rebuilding Colombia’s defence in time for the World Cup qualifiers. As well as Yepes’ experience, Los Cafeteros’ first choice wing-backs last year Camilo Zuniga and Pablo Armero have suffered from injuries and a lack of playing time meaning a completely new back four may be in operation.
So whilst there are a number of unanswered questions at the back, there’s undoubted quality and firepower in forward areas. The Argentinean boss favours an offensive system, usually fielding five or six forward-thinking players. Radamel Falcao’s return should be seen a boost for the squad and with the likes of Carlos Bacca and James Rodriguez lighting up La Liga on a regular basis, Colombia should have no problem finding the back of the net.
Like the majority of their Copa America rivals, Colombia will claim that the tournament is simply a warm-up for their World Cup qualifying slog but anything less than a semi-final appearance must be deemed a failure. Pekerman is considered a saviour back in Bogota and beyond and should guide the team into a top-two finish from where a winnable quarter-final awaits. From there, anything is a possible but Los Cafeteros look a slice of value at 6/1 (Paddy Power) quotes to go the distance and continue their assault towards being labelled a serious world force.
The View From The Inside
“Hopes are high after last year’s historic World-Cup finish but Jose Pekerman was quick to put a lid on expectations this time last year in the run up to the World Cup, perhaps because he understood the problems that came with managing weighty expectations in the past – ie. World Cup 1994 – and he’s been singing from the same hymn sheet this time.
Anything less than the semi-finals would be seen as a failure. Colombia should qualify in second place – though beware of Venezuela who Colombia always struggle against – in the group and will be too strong for Mexico’s reserves or Ecuador in the quarter-finals. The big test will be against hosts Chile in the semi-finals.”
– Carl Worswick (@cworswick)
- Colombia vs Venezuela | 14th June 2015 | 20.00 | Premier Sports
- Colombia vs Brazil | 18th June 2015 | 01.00 | Premier Sports
- Colombia vs Peru | 21st June 2015 | 20.00 | Premier Sports
Colombia Form & Stats
|Last 10 Competitive Games||W7-D1-L2||Last 20 Competitive Games||W12-D3-L5|
|0-0 Draw||0/10||0-0 Draw||1/20|
|Over 1.5 Goals||9/10||Over 1.5 Goals||15/20|
|Over 2.5 Goals||6/10||Over 2.5 Goals||10/20|
|Over 3.5 Goals||2/10||Over 3.5 Goals||5/20|
|Over 4.5 Goals||2/10||Over 4.5 Goals||3/20|
|Both Teams To Score||5/10||Both Teams To Score||8/20|
|Fail To Score||1/10||Fail To Score||4/20|
|Clean Sheet||4/10||Clean Sheet||9/20|
|HT Draw||4/10||HT Draw||8/20|
|Over 1.5 Team Goals||7/10||Over 1.5 Team Goals||11/20|
|Win + Both Teams To Score||3/10||Win + Both Teams To Score||4/20|
*All stats and form correct until 30 May 2015*