Brazil to avoid following in Argentina’s Copa footsteps

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Tournament favourites Argentina have already stumbled in their opening match at the Copa America with a draw against minnows Bolivia and Brazil will be keen to avoid following suit as they get their competition underway against Venezuela.

Brazil’s odds are 1/5 to beat Venezuela and coach Mano Menezes has a full-strength squad to pick from as the nation go in search of their third successive Copa America title.

It is expected that Menezes will opt for AC Milan duo Alexandre Pato and Robinho either side of Neymar in a three-pronged attack, while there should also be a start for Paulo Henrique Ganso in midfield.

Although Brazil should run out routine winners, they will have to remain on guard with Venezuela considered by some to be the darkhorses of the tournament.

They have a host of exciting youngsters in their ranks and 11/2 looks slightly overpriced that they can hold Brazil to a draw.

Meanwhile, it is 12/1 in the Copa America odds that they spring the ultimate surprise and beat Brazil.

Elsewhere on Sunday at the Copa America, Paraguay are in action in the other Group B encounter against Ecuador and both sides will see this as a vital victory if they want to enhance their chances of progressing into the quarter finals of the competition.

Paraguay may have the slight advantage in terms of attacking talent, particularly through having Lucas Barrios at the their disposal, who played a vital role in firing Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title last season.

However, Ecuador can call upon Manchester United’s Luis Antonia Valencia and if Felipe Caicedo enjoys a good day in front of goal, he could pose a substantial threat.

It is 5/6 in the Copa America odds that Paraguay triumph, while Ecuador are 10/3 to take an opening three points.

The pair drew 1-1 in their last meeting during qualifying for last year’s World Cup and it is 5/2 that the points are shared again.

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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.