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After many changes, controversies and uncertainties, the Copa America 2021 is already in full swing. And if anyone expected a rather ‘xoxo’ championship because of all this confusion, they were wrong: the teams and players are showing the usual race and will, and the tournament continues to be as exciting as ever.
The Cup America
Few people know, but the Copa America is the oldest competition of professional teams in the world. It was first held over a century ago, in 1916. Since then, 46 editions were held, enshrining eight different champions.
Recently, a fixed formula was adopted for the championship: besides the 10 members of Conmebol, it was decided that two more teams from other continental confederations would always be invited. This way, it would be possible to form three groups of four teams each, in order to make the competition more interesting.
However, in 2021 the need arose to use a different format. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the invited teams gave up their places. Therefore, only two groups with five teams were formed, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. In practice, only the last team in each group is eliminated. See how the teams were divided.
Here’s what to expect from each team.
Group A is relatively easy to predict: Bolivia are by far the weakest team in the group, which would make it a huge surprise if any of the others were eliminated. Group B, on the other hand, is a little more difficult: Brazil and Colombia should qualify with ease. But as for Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, there are several strengths and weaknesses to analyse.
Peru are the current runners-up in the tournament, but have been in a very poor qualifying run for the World Cup and are without their main player, Paolo Guerrero. Ecuador and Venezuela are in similar but not identical situations. Both countries have achieved significant results at youth competitions in recent years. However, the transition between generations is not yet complete, which is why their teams do not figure among the favourites.
There is one important difference between them, however: Ecuador are faring much better than Venezuela in the qualifiers. In Group B, the losers are likely to be Peru.
Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador are among the countries which are expected to qualify but are unlikely to win the competition.
Colombia is one of the main forces of South American football, but is without its two greatest stars: James Rodriguez and Falcao Garcia. Chile have won the Copa America twice in recent years, but have since fallen off the pace. For Paraguay, it is already quite common to finish in intermediate positions. And Ecuador may not be so traditional, but they are enjoying a great momentum and have a good generation coming through. Peru and Venezuela are also among these four, whichever is not eliminated in the first round.
Which one of them will reach the semi-finals? Colombia. Despite their absence, Los Cafeteros still have a good team.
It is no mystery: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are always favourites in South American competitions. It is no coincidence that they are the greatest champions of our continental championships. Among the three, the one with the best chances of winning the tournament is Brazil. Besides being the reigning champion, they are in the best phase and have excellent numbers under coach Tite. Of course, nothing has been won yet. We can never rule out teams with the tradition of Argentina and Uruguay. Not to mention, of course, squads with names like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Where to bet on Cup America
Our suggestion of a site to bet on is Sultanbet. It is a young house that in only five years of existence has already consolidated its name in Europe, having as one of its strongest points the quantity and quality of markets offered. To get an idea, the house offers around a thousand markets for each match of the Copa America. It also offers future bets on
- Group A winner;
- Group B winner;
- last of Group A;
- last in Group B;
- top scorer;
- and others.
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