When the CONMEBOL Copa America kicks off on 12th June, the eyes of the world will be on some of the biggest talents in football.
Most of South America’s best players ply their trade in the European Leagues and so fans in England, France, Italy, and Spain will tune in too to watch their heroes come face to face in a white-hot atmosphere of international football.
Group A hosts Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, so there are some fantastic match-ups to watch there.
And here at SBOTOP, we’ll be previewing and reporting on the must-see games with the latest Copa America 2021 betting odds.
Argentina vs Chile – June 12
The tournament opener is a cracker!
Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni is under some pressure to deliver a trophy for the 14-time champions and 14-time runners-up of the Copa America, who currently sit seventh in the FIFA World Rankings.
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has not always been credited for his international performances but he is a key man with 71 goals in 142 appearances for his country.
Messi’s strike partner could well be Inter’s rising star Lautaro Martinez and he could come up against two club colleagues, if midfield enforcer Arturo Vidal and striker Alexis Sanchez line up for the Chileans – who won the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.
All three players are vital to I Nerazzurri in the Serie A title race and will have plenty to say in Copa America 2021.
Argentina vs Uruguay – June 15
Three days later, Argentina have another crunch game when they meet neighbours Uruguay to renew a long-standing rivalry as these two nations have played each other more times than any other pair in world football.
The first Argentina vs Uruguay clash in 1901 was also the first recognised international to be played outside the UK, and the two great teams have come together 198 times.
The rivalry really sparked when they met in the first World Cup final in 1930 as Uruguay ran out 4-2 winners at a packed Estadio Centenario.
Uruguay vs Chile – June 19
Then the top class action continues when Uruguay meet Chile.
Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez has a defensive pair who will stand up to the threat of Alexis Sanchez as Cagliari’s Diego Godin can renew his centre-back partnership with Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur will relish a reunion with Vidal, while Edinson Cavani is likely to spearhead the Uruguay attack.
Cavani’s arrival at Manchester United has enhanced the Red Devils’ chances of competing for the Premier League title this season, and he remains one of the classiest finishers in the game.
Brazil vs Venezuela – June 13
Tite’s Brazil is the highest-rated in the competition as they sit third in the FIFA World Rankings, and they will fancy their chances of dominating Group B.
Brazil is blessed by some of the Premier Leagues best players.
Manchester City and Liverpool goalkeepers Ederson and Alisson will contend for the Number One shirt while Chelsea’s centre-back Thiago Silva skippers the Samba Boys.
The front three of Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, and Richarlison will be a handful for any defence.
Venezuela’s captain and talisman will be Torino midfielder Tomas Rincon who has over 100 caps, and he will impose his authority on the midfield.
Meanwhile, veteran striker Salomon Rondon will hope to add to his 3 goals from 82 international games. The 31-year-old now plies his trade at Dalian Professional in the China Super League.
Brazil vs Colombia – June 25
This is possibly the most hostile rivalry in international football. And when Brazil meet Colombia, there will be no love lost.
Tempers flared at the 2014 World Cup clash when the Samba Boys won 2-1, but the action was overshadowed by Colombian claims that the referee favoured Brazil while Neymar suffered an injury in a brutal match.
And the hostility increased when they met again in the 2015 Copa America.
Los Cafeteros were champions in 2001 and have quality in their ranks from front to back.
Napoli keeper David Ospina is the last line of defence while Spurs centre-back Davinson Sanchez should feature in this huge match, and Everton midfielder James Rodriguez made an impressive start to his Premier League career.
Atalanta’s front two of Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata have terrorised defences in Serie A and they’ll fancy a crack at Brazil in this tasty clash.
There’s plenty to look forward to in a summer of great football with Euro 2020 kicking off at the same time.
In the meantime, we’ll keep the Copa America 2021 updates coming while we keep an eye on the biggest South American stars.
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