LOOKING for the best Copa America bets concerning Group A? We asked BBC’s South American football correspondent Tim Vickery (@Tim_Vickery) and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) for their thoughts.
Tim Vickery’s Verdict[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206968882?secret_token=s-32tnS” 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 Verdict
By popular consensus, this is Chile’s best ever squad and so make no bones about, La Roja are expected to challenge for top honours. Colombia are the only hosts in the past six Copas to take gold and in the past three tournaments, the host nation has failed to even reach the semi-finals.
A similar return for Chile is unthinkable and although the pressure may weigh heavily on Jorge Sampaoli’s men, they boast enough class, verve and energy to pass the group stage in top spot (4/7 BetVictor) despite a potential banana-skin in the competition curtain-raiser against Ecuador.
The growing optimism surrounding Ecuador’s Copa America challenge hit the buffers at the end of May following the news star man Antonio Valencia will miss the competition. With new head coach Gustavo Quinteros looking to harness La Tricolour’s ideals of pace, power and wing-play, Valencia’s absence will hurt the side.
But there’s still plenty to be positive about. In arguably the weakest group, Ecuador have the ability to upset the odds and finish in the top-two at a generous 7/4 (BetVictor). Taking on tournament hosts Chile in the opener should work in their favour and Quinteros’ troops should fancy their chances against an understrength Mexico and ill-prepared Bolivian side.
Mexico impressed many at last summer’s World Cup but Miguel Herrera will be taking a second string squad to the Copa America. And so with the vast majority of first-choice players missing, it’s almost intangible to believe backing El Tri at restrictive quotes (8/11 SkyBet) to finish in the top-two makes sense.
The consistency of a tried-and-trusted set-up will work in Mexico’s favour and Herrera will be looking to secure a knockout place. Victory against group rags Bolivia should be achieved in the opener but from a betting perspective, El Tri are untouchable.
It’s been a long time since Bolivia tasted any sort of glory but new boss Mauricio Soria is determined to give the Copa America a real go. El Verde are unlikely to be quite as gung-ho as Soria may have suggested but even so, the side should be a fun watch.
However, Bolivia’s chances for progression remain improbable. Facing Chile last could be a blessing in disguise and should El Verde pick up a point from their first two fixtures, their slim pre-tournament hopes may be raised. But many questions and concerns must be addressed before qualification dreams are entertained.
Tim Vickery – Ecuador Top-Two Finish (7/4 BetVictor)
Mark O'Haire – Ecuador Top-Two Finish (7/4 BetVictor)
- 12th June 2015 | Chile vs Ecuador | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- 13th June 2015 | Mexico vs Bolivia | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- 15th June 2015 | Ecuador vs Bolivia | 22.00 | Premier Sports
- 16th June 2015 | Chile vs Mexico | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- 19th June 2015 | Mexico vs Ecuador | 22.00 | Premier Sports
- 20th June 2015 | Chile vs Bolivia | 00.30 | Premier Sports