The 2019 Copa America is under way and there has already been a lot to catch the eye. Brazil have started strongly while Argentina have ground to make up. There are a number of storylines and plots to follow which will form the bedrock of this tournament. Here are four tips from the second round of group games.
Brazil v Venezuela
Fonte Nova Arena, Tuesday, June 18
A 3-0 opening group game win over Bolivia put Brazil in a strong position for this summer’s Copa America. Their performance wasn’t a vintage one, but things started to click once the first goal was scored. Philippe Coutinho’s display also suggested that the Barcelona playmaker, who has struggled for form this season, will be key to Brazil’s chances.
Venezuela’s recent record against Brazil isn’t a glowing one. Brazil are undefeated in their last six games against Venezuela, keeping four clean sheets in that process. Once again, if Brazil can find the first goal then the rest will click into place. The trouble will come if that first goal doesn’t come all that quickly.
1.5u - Back Philippe Coutinho Anytime Goalscorer @ +118
Colombia v Qatar
Morumbi, Wednesday, June 19
Colombia pulled off the biggest result of the first round of Copa America group games, securing a comfortable 2-0 win over Argentina. Qatar pulled off what was probably the second biggest result of that first round, fighting back from 2-0 down against Paraguay to claim a very credible draw. Even as Asian champions, their strength and resilience came as a surprise to many.
There have been over 2.5 goals in six of Colombia’s last 10 games. Qatar have also been involved in a high number of high scoring games recently, with over 2.5 goals in five of their last 10 games. There’s good reason to believe there will be goals in this game with Colombia the slight favourites. Qatar shouldn’t be taken lightly, though.
1.25u - Back Both Teams to Score @ +120
Argentina v Paraguay
Mineirao, Wednesday, June 19
We have been here before. The sight of Lionel Messi with his hands on hands, despondent in his expression in the famous, but more recently tragic, blue and white stripes of La Albiceleste. Indeed, Argentina have some work to do not just to make the knockout rounds of this summer’s Copa America, but to salvage their own dignity after their 2-0 defeat to Colombia.
Lionel Scaloni might make wholesale changes to his team after that result. Paraguay also have first game regrets after blowing a 2-0 lead against Qatar. They won the last meeting between these two countries, though, and will be confident of claiming a result against a hurting Argentina outfit. This should be another tight affair… unless Messi turns up.
0.75u - Back a Draw @ +345
Uruguay v Japan
Arena do Gremio, Thursday, June 20
Of all the South American heavyweights, Uruguay looked the strongest from the opening round of Copa America group games. Indeed, Oscar Tabarez’s side were extremely impressive in their 4-0 dismantling of Ecuador, laying down a marker for the rest of the tournament. On this basis, they will be among the contenders.
Japan were on the other end of a similarly heavy opening game result. This is a young group of players they have brought to the Copa America and this will be another tough test for them. It’s difficult to envisage how Japan will claim something from this game and it could be another heavy victory for Uruguay.
1u - Back Uruguay Asian Handicap -2 +140