Argentina and Colombia to kick off Copa America with victories

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Argentina have been beaten finalists in the last two instalments of the Copa America and they should have no problem making a winning start in this year’s competition as they face Bolivia first.

It is 1/9 in the Copa America Odds that Argentina beat Bolivia and with Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Ezequiel Lavezzi making up their forward line, goals should not be in short supply.

Bolivia have not advanced beyond the group stages of the Copa America since 1997 when reaching the final, while the top international scorer currently in their ranks only has eight goals.

However, they may take confidence from their 6-1 mauling of Argentina in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

Bolivia are 25/1 to beat Argentina again, while it is 7/1 that the opening game of this year’s Copa America ends in a draw.

One point worth raising is that Bolivia have only lost their opening game of the Copa America in one of the last five renewals of the competition, but these matches have not been against the same calibre of opposition as this year’s hosts.

Colombia meet Chile in the other game in Group A and should also be able to kick-off their campaign with a routine win, despite being without playmaker Gio Moreno because of a knee injury.

Costa Rica have brought a young and experimental squad to the Copa America, while Colombia can call upon the services of leading Porto striker Radamel Falcao in their ranks.

Colombia are 4/11 to beat Costa Rica, while Falcao is 10/11 to strike at any time within the 90 minutes.

Alongside Falcao, Colombia also have fellow Porto star Fredy Guarin to link midfield and attack, while Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega is likely to prove a positive influence from a wide starting position.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.