Columbia Vs Venezuela
Columbia kick off their Copa America campaign looking to live up to their billing as one of the Favourites to win the Tournament. Venezuela finished 4th in the previous Copa America and will know that defeat in the opening fixture will make life difficult to progress with such tough opposition within the Group. Columbia boast excellent attacking options in Martinez, Falcao and James Rodriguez which will give Venezuela boss Noel Sanvincente numerous headaches. Columbia to open the Copa America with a win for the sixth time in seven outings.
Brazil Vs Peru
Brazil will hope to get their Copa America campaign underway with a victory over lowly Peru on Sunday evening. Dunga’s side have been in terrific form winning 10 consecutive Friendly fixtures in preparation for this event. Peru have it all to do with a relatively new manager being less than 6 months into the role. The Peruvians appear in their first Copa America since 1975 and will start their campaign with a baptism of fire against the side many consider favourites to win the trophy. With Oscar, Hulk and others through injury Brazil will rely on Neymar to guide them to glory. Comfortable win for Brazil expected.
Ecuador Vs Bolivia
Ecuador went down 2-0 against Chile in their first match of the tournament and face an uphill struggle to progress to the Quarter Finals. The Ecuadorians only mustered a single effort on goal against a superior Chile side who took pole position in Group A. Bolivia held out for a bore draw against a more fancied Mexico side on Friday evening. Both sides are in need of three points if they are to boost their chances of progressing through to the Knock Out stages of the Copa America. Ecuador are the clear favourites here and will get back on track with a narrow win.
Chile Vs Mexico
Chile kicked off their campaign just as they would have wanted by beating Ecuador 2-0 on Thursday evening. Goals from Vidal and Vargas sealed the win and Mexico will also need to keep a close eye on Alexis Sanchez. Mexico were unable to find a way past a resolute Bolivia side in their opening fixture. A defeat against Chile would give Mexico a mountain to climb for them to progress to the Quarter Finals. Chile to pick up an important win and book their place in the Knock Out stages of the Competition.
Chile vs Ecuador
Football fanatics across the globe will be delighted that the 2015 Copa America has saved them from what would be a pretty quiet football schedule over the summer break. Hosts Chile welcome Ecuador to the capital for the opening match and I predict a solid home win for the home side, whose star studded line-up includes Arsenal star Sanchez and Juventus’s dynamic midfielder Vidal. The hosts should make easy work of this Ecuador side predominantly made up of players from their national league, however you can be sure the visitors will not go down without a fight.
Mexico vs Bolivia
The second group A game kicks off on Friday between two sides who will both be desperately seeking atleast a point in this game to keep their qualifications chances alive. Mexico are traditionally the stronger of the two sides and will be looking to avenge their poor performances in the 2011 Copa America edition when they did not get past the group stages. Coach Herrera has left out a number of key players, including Chicarito, Guardardo and dos Santos due to Gold Cup Commitments later in July. Bolivia have not gotten past the group stages since 1997 and you can be sure that they will put on a brave performance. I am backing Mexico to win this.
Uruguay vs Jamaica
Title holders Uruguay come into this tournament among the favorites and a quick glance at their squad list dispels any doubts about this sides credentials. Without the services of the suspended Luis Saurez and retired Diego Forlan, PSG’s Cavani will spearhead the attack with defensive lynchpin and captain Diego Godin leading from the back. Jamaica are one of the two sides invited to this edition of the Copa America and I reckon their limited squad will be in for a tough tournament. The Jamaicans are the tallest side in the competition so really need to make the most of set-pieces and have to keep a very tight rearguard if they are to stand any chance of advacing past the group stages. I am backing Uruguay to win this comfortably.
Argentina vs Paraguay
Argentina go into this tournament as the bookmakers favorites and considering a squad full of high profile names, with very few injuries, Coach Martino’s main job is to keep his side fully motivated to avoid any silly slip ups, as this might be the last chance for a lot of these players, who are considered part of a golden generation, to win a major trophy for their country. Paraguay could not have wished for a harder start and I think that from their end this encounter is more about damage control. I expect the Albiceleste front line of Messi, Aguero and Tevez to rip Paraguay apart in a comfortable win.