Despite Chile celebrating their first ever Copa America trophy less than a year ago, there will be another Copa America tournament this summer. All 10 teams from CONMEBOL and 6 CONCACAF teams have been divided into 4 groups, with the latest Soccer lines making Argentina the 7/4 favourites to win the trophy.
Argentina has the best, most balanced squad for the tournament. Even though Romero only played a handful of times for Manchester United last season, he’s always been a reliable goalkeeper for the national side and helped his team reach the World Cup final 2 years ago with his heroic performance in the ½ final penalty shootout victory against the Netherlands.
Tata Martino won’t have the best defenders at his disposal, as Uruguay have the solid Atletico Madrid duo of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez in the centre of their defense, but the former Barcelona manager can still be pleased with his options. Rojo and Otamendi didn’t enjoy good seasons in the English Premier League, but just like Romero, they’ve been extremely reliable for the national side. Martino will also be able to count on the ever-reliable Mascherano and Everton’s Funes Mori for defensive solidity.
The team has plenty of options in midfield. Even though Mascherano can cover both the centre-back and defensive midfield positions, he’ll likely play just in front of Argentina’s defense. Martino will then be able to choose from players such as Lazio captain Biglia, Europa League winner Banega and Champions League finalist Augusto Fernandez to further solidify his midfield. PSG’s Javier Pastore is also available for selection in case Martino wants to add some more creativity to his team.
Martino is spoilt for attacking options as well. Uruguay strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have formed a deadly attacking duo, but in terms of attacking options, Argentina can put any other Copa America team to shame. Martino could field an attack of established world-class players such as Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero.
There are no guarantees in football, but everything seems to point towards Messi winning his first international trophy. Chile aren’t the same side as the one that won Copa America last summer – Alexis Sanchez has suffered a dip in form and Jorge Sampaoli, who enjoyed an extremely successful 4-year spell as Chile coach, decided to leave his position after a reported row with the recently elected president of Chile’s Football Federation.
Colombia aren’t the same team as two years ago either. Jose Peckerman is still their coach, but things are very different in terms of the players and their performances. Jackson Martinez hasn’t even been selected to represent Colombia in the US this summer, whereas Real Madrid star James Rodriguez spent last season mostly on the bench and is being heavily linked with leaving the newly crowned Champions League winners.
Brazil’s team looks ordinary without Neymar. Barcelona’s superstar won’t participate in the tournament after his club reached an agreement with Brazil’s Football Federation, according to which the striker will only represent his country at the Summer Olympics in Rio between August 5th and 27th. The defense looks solid enough with Alex Sandro, Filipe Luis, Miranda and Marquinhos, but the team still doesn’t look capable of going all the way.
If Martino is smart enough with his tactics and team selections, Argentina should be able to win the tournament. Even if their defense fails to perform up to standard, Argentina’s attackers should be able to outscore any team this month.