COPA AMERICA starts on Friday (12.30am) and as far as picking a winner goes it should be between Argentina and Brazil with hosts Chile trying to muscle in.
Uruguay are unlikely to mount a challenge without banned Luis Suarez – although they’re appealing to have him available – and while Colombia boast attacking stars such as Radamel Falcao, Jackson Martinez, Teo Gutierrez and Carlos Bacca their defence is too weak to go all the way.
I’d love to tip Chile to lift the trophy for the first time and while they have supreme talents such as Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal I’m sticking with the favourites who have the one and only Lionel Messi.
Chile are 4-1 at Ladbrokes and bet365 and if I was backing them I’d do it each way because Argentina and Brazil are on course to meet in the semis. They tackle Ecuador in the opener and should kick off with a win.
They are a best 8-15 with BetVictor and others and I’m chancing them -1 AH at 39-40 with BetVictor and bet365. To score first Sanchez is my pick at 15-4 with BetVictor.
Argentina, 2-1 at Betfred and William Hill, amazingly haven’t won the trophy since 1993 but this could be their time.
Messi is the figurehead in a side packed with talent – Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Angel di Maria, Erik Lamela. The list goes on and on and in boss Gerardo Martino they have one of the best in the business.
Brazil flopped badly at their home World Cup and boss Dunga, under pressure for his side to make amends, is doing a job with a 100 per cent win rate since the 2014 finals.
But while they have Messi’s Barcelona team-mate Neymar they don’t have that many other superstars. They are second favourites at 7-2 with Coral but it’s too short for me.
Neymar could nab the top-scorer prize though with Argentina set to share the goals around and the Brazilian is bet365’s 13-2 second favourite behind Messi who is 7-2 at Paddy Power.
Colombia could provide Chile’s opposition in the semis with Jose Pekerman’s side being handed a kind draw.
If I get a chance I’ll add some group betting and look at other markets but for the best preview of the tournament check out We Love Betting.
(2-1, Betfred, William Hill)
(4-1, Ladbrokes, bet365)
Neymar top scorer