Argentina clearer Copa America favourites than odds suggest

In the last 11 editions of the Copa America the winner has come, almost exclusively, from three avenues: Brazil and Argentina, or the host nation.

Only twice in that time frame has any country managed to upset the apple cart and, on both occasions, it was Uruguay that played the role of spoilsports.

At 9/1 for this edition, there certainly seems some merit in Los Charrúas entering the winner’s enclosure for a 16th time, although they will need to do so without Luis Suarez, who is still banned for his World Cup bite, and veteran Diego Forlan, who isn’t in the squad.

More likely, both as far as history and the betting is concerned, is a triumph for either of South America’s big guns, or the host nation Chile.

It’s Argentina that Ladbrokes make the favourites at 2/1 and certainly their squad looks the most suited to glory on paper, despite bringing in Gerardo Martinez as manager since the end of the World Cup.

Brazil trail them by a slim margin at 3s, but are a far greener outfit than the those that have lit up tournaments in the past.

Head coach Dunga only has three players with more than 50 caps to his name and it looks highly likely that he will be putting all of his eggs in a Neymar-shaped basket, much like Luiz Felipe Scolari did at the World Cup.

Chile are the most intriguingly priced prospect of the three at 4/1. Fresh from an impressive World Cup campaign in which they were a struck-crossbar away from knocking Brazil out in the second round, the hosts could use the wave of support they’ll receive at the tournament to spur them onto a maiden Copa win. The only worry is that the goals, of which there has been just one in their last three matches, have dried up.

Beyond that group, Colombia stand the best chance to join Uruguay as the side to buck the trend, at a price of 11/2.

The group that made the World Cup quarter finals is largely still intact, with some minor alterations. Radamel Falcao is back after missing the Brazil tournament through injury and joins an inspiring crop of strikers in Chile, although veteran skipper Mario Yepes has finally been put out to pasture.

This year, every Copa America match will be available to live stream with Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.