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Copa America 2016

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Copa America: Brazil - Ecuador

Ecuador made a really solid start to World Cup qualifying and ended 2015 on fire, but recent form has tailed off and they conceded two at home to Paraguay and three away to Colombia and are meeting a team they have a bit of an inferiority complex against. They also play with two holding players, but in their case this is so that the full backs can press on and they will be looking to exploit both flanks and get as many balls into the box as possible. They have goals in them, but the defence is a weakness and the central defenders go missing at times and are quite frankly a liability, witness the recent games with Colombia and expecially the two goals conceded against Paraguay .

No Neymar for Brazil, but after the failure last year and World Cup debacle, they could do with a good Copa, they won and conceded in both opening games in those tournaments and I see this playing out similarly, both scoring and probably a Brazil win. This version of the amba Boys are inexperienced and like Ecuador, the central pairing in the absence of Silva and Luiz are vulnerable and will be dealing with a lot of crosses in this game.

over 2.5 goals 2.21 asian line/Sportmarket
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Jamaica to beat Venezuela for a 7/10 stake at 3.10 with Bet365

Jamaica reached the final of the gold cup recently and lost to Mexico but they did a good tournament being runner up. This week they got a good preparation for Copa America by beating Chile 2-1. Venezuela is now the worst team in south america and last year Jamaica beat them 2-1 in a friendly. I don't see why Jamaica is the underdogs here. Should be more even odds.

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I don't know how they do it the bookies but somehow Venezuela scored the lone goal after Jamaica had hit the crossbar in first half. The odds have nothing to do with it but the bookies were totally right again. Annoying because nobody could know which way the match would go. There were absolutely nothing saying that Venezuela would be the better team.

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The centennial edition of Copa America hasn't been that impressive so far and except the last night's game between Mexico and Uruguay, all other games were clear "unders". Tonight, in the early morning hours European time, we have one of the most anticipated and thrilling games in the group stage which comes as a replay of the last match between both nations at major continental event. Of course, that game was preceded by the 2:1 win of Argentina (away in Chile, during Pizzi's coaching debut for "La Roja"), but their current Copa America tie is their first major game after the last year's final which Chile won on penalties. However, this time they'll meet on neutral ground and obviously there are few certain questions among all of us. 
First of all - latest rumors are that Lionel Messi can miss the match tonight, so thus the odds for Argentina are raising. Indeed, we all know footballer from what quality Leo Messi is, but he's back from Spain where he had hearing in court about committing of tax fraud, but he's back in Argentina's base, although he's late with the training. This arouse some questions, but it's fully up to him - will he play tonight, or he'll miss the first Copa America Centenario game of “La Albiceleste”.
Second - what happens if Leo Messi misses the game tonight? Well, I won't rate it as such a blow since we all can easily open and find out what incredible selection Gerardo Martino has, and fact that player who made a superb season (Paulo Dybala) was left out from it. Di Maria, Lavezzi (maybe the most controversial name in current squad), Pastore, Nicolas Gaitan, Erik Lamela, Kun Agüero, Higuain are all decent options and even if Messi decides to start on the bench, we can easily obtain some information about Argentina's attacking opportunities. Trio with Di Maria, Aguero and Higuain seems possible, but we shouldn't exclude all others. 
Moreover, Argentina's midfield provides some players in form - Ever Banega made one remarkable season, we also have the usual suspect there - Javier Mascherano, as well as few other players like both players from Diego Simeone's selection - Matías Kranevitter and Augusto Fernandez. 
Third question - Argentina already won against Chile, should we expect another game influenced from the eager of taking a sweet revenge for the lost Copa America final one year ago? Well, yes. Why not? Argentina and Chile are most likely the teams that won't (or at least they shouldn't) struggle in group with teams like Panama and Bolivia. So this seems to be a first position decider, although they're meeting in the first round. 
Fourth - perhaps the most important point in my mind. We all know what Jorge Sampaoli achieved with Chile and how he transformed the team. So apparently we should be thinking about the current prospects of Chile and here it comes the question - Was Juan Antonio Pizzi the most reliable person? Can he squeeze the potential out of his players, exactly like Sampaoli did? He fails to give positive answer of that question so far, but he probably needs some time. Nonetheless, Copa America 2016 is already here and he must gave these answers as soon as possible, on the field. My thoughts are that we'll have completely different Chile tonight, compared to their home campaign last summer. 
So I will take and recommend the odds on Argentina, at least we can find good value in them and the game is at third country, on neutral venue. A good reason why victory for Argentina in its current odds deserves some credit. 

Pick: Argentina 
Odd: 2.20 @ Netbet
Units: (5/10)


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Copa America: Colombia - Paraguay

This match is being played in Pasadena, so advantage Colombia having opened in Santa Clara, just a short hop down the coast and a beautiful drive along Highway 101 if you choose to go the scenic route ! Paraguay played in Orlando which means a six hour flight, three hour time difference and having played a day later, 20 hours + less recovery time. All these disadvantages add up and inbetween two tough games, I think it is the exta training session that Colombia will have been able to fit in that is the real bonus and I do think they will be looking to win the group. That would mean staying on the West Coast (Seattle) for their quarter final, as opposed to flying to New York and they would go to Houston in the semis if they won, which is where they are playing their final group game, so a big edge there , or rather no disadvantages, which is effectively the same thing ! It would also give Brazil the "option" to avoid them in the last eight and go into the separate half of the draw from both Colombia and Argentina, by finishing runner up in Group B. They might be without James Rodriguez today which is, of course, a loss, Los Cafeteros are 8-1-1 in his absence, although half of those starts were against weaker opposition than they face today.

Paraguay played as kind of expected against Costa Rica, which was not to lose, head coach Ramon Diaz has been very critical of the schedule (he is right) and the very hot draining conditions, on top of everything else, his team faced in Orlando . They had a lot of experienced and likely starters withdraw from the squad pre tournament, Aguliar, Ortigoza, Barrios and Caceres who all started in their last really good result a 0-0 draw with Argentina for example are missing ( nine players with 413 international starts were either left out , or pulled out of the final squad) and options are limited. Diaz is 95% certain to stick with the eleven who faced Costa Rica, given the weather, travel, time difference, less rest etc, is that a good or bad thing ?

Colombia's odds have risen to 2.15+ this morning, that probably relates to the "loss" of James, which is expected, but now means they are very backable, given that they hold almost every other advantage ..........

Colombia -0.5 ball 2.10 asian line/Sportmarket

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  • 2 weeks later...

Argentina v Venezuela

Argentina injuries & suspensions: Nicolás Otamendi (35/2 d, probably in), Javier Pastore (27/2 m), Angel Di Maria (75/17 m)

Out of squad: Pablo Zabaleta (54/0 d), Martín Demichelis (50/2 d), Ezequiel Garay (32/0 d), Leonel Vangioni (4/0 d), Javier Pinola (2/0 d), Enzo Pérez (16/1 m), Roberto Pereyra (10/0 m), Fernando Gago (60/0 m), Carlos Tevez (76/13 f), Paulo Dybala (3/0 f)

Venezuela injuries & suspensions: Roberto Rosales (66/0 d, doubtful)

Out of squad: Alain Baroja (13/0 g), Gabriel Cichero (64/4 d), Grenddy Perozo (45/2 d), César González (62/5 m), Ronald Vargas (22/3 m), Franklin Lucena (62/2 m), Yohandry Orozco (25/1 m), Nicolás Fedor (53/11 f)


Mexico v Chile

Mexico injuries & suspensions: Javier Aquino (39/0 m)

Out of squad: Francisco Javier Rodríguez (108/1 d), Julio Domínguez (16/0 d), Marco Fabián (32/7 m), Jonathan dos Santos (18/0 m), Jürgen Damm (4/1 m), Jesús Zavala (31/2 m), Carlos Esquivel (18/1 m), Giovani dos Santos (90/17 f), Carlos Vela (48/15 f)

Chile injuries & suspensions: Eugenio Mena (46/3 d), Mauricio Isla (77/3 d, suspended)

Out of squad: Matías Fernández (72/14 m), José Rojas (24/1 d), Manuel Iturra (34/1 m), David Pizarro (46/2 m, retired), Francisco Rodríguez (0/0 m), Felipe Gutiérrez (28/4 m), Jorge Valdivia (73/7 m), Carlos Carmona (48/1 m), Marcelo Larrondo (0/0 f)

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 90 football leagues and competitions at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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