- After being delayed and relocated, Copa America is set to start this weekend in Brazil
- Brazil are the defending champions, having won the 2019 tournament
- Oddsmakers favor Brazil to retain the title, with Argentina being the second favorite
Even though there were rumors about Brazil players boycotting the tournament, Copa America 2021 will go through! It starts this weekend, and over the course of four weeks, ten teams will battle for the continental title. The obvious question is who’s going to win it?
Copa America 2021 Schedule
- When: June 13 to July 10
- Where: Brazil (four cities)
- How to Watch: Fox Sports, Univision, fuboTV
Copa America Vegas Odds
Copa America 2021 Preview
Even though the name of the tournament suggests it’s reserved for the national teams from the Americas, this edition of Copa America was supposed to feature Qatar and Australia.
However, the two nations withdrew in March 2021, so the organizers had to come up with a new format.
The result is that in the 2021 tournament, there are going to be ten teams, each from South America.
They’re going to be put in two groups – Group A (South Zone) and Group B (North Zone) – according to the location within the continent.
|Group A||Group B|
Only one team from each group will not get to the knockout stage. The rules are that the top four teams will get to the quarterfinals.
That’s where they’re going to square off with the teams from the opposite group. The group winners will play the teams that finished fourth, while #2 from Group A will take on #3 from Group B, and vice versa.
Who Gets to the Knockout Stage?
In Group A, Argentina and Uruguay seem like the two teams that will be fighting it out for the #1 spot.
For Lionel Messi, who’s turning 34 this month, this is probably the last chance to bring his country the first Copa America trophy since 1987.
It’s pretty much the same case when Uruguay are concerned, a team that previously won the trophy in 1995. Both these teams will take things seriously in the group stage, so you shouldn’t worry much about them getting to the knockouts.
It’s a similar case when Chile is concerned, meaning that the battle for the last available spot in Group A is likely to be between Bolivia and Paraguay.
As Bolivia’s odds for winning the Copa America 2021 are +12500, they seem destined to finish at the bottom of the group table.
It would be crazy not to think of Brazil as the favorite to finish at the very top of the Group B table.
Not only are they the hosts of the tournament, as well as the reigning champions, but they also have Neymar in the squad.
As a reminder, the PSG forward got injured just a week before the start of the 2019 tournament. They won it without him, and are surely favored to win it with Ney in the team.
If Brazil didn’t get to the knockout stage, it would be one of the biggest failures in the history of the team. That’s why it’s safe to assume they’re going to get there!
In fact, they will probably get to the knockouts from the top spot, leaving behind Colombia, and two other teams.
But, which two? It seems that the race to the knockouts is going to be a tough one in Group B.
Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru are in the contest. None of these teams has players playing for top European clubs, but oddsmakers do favor Ecuador the most.
It probably has something to do with the fact that this team did relatively well in 2020, winning three of the four games they played that year.
The trouble is that in a recent couple of matches, they were terrible. Most recently, they lost to Peru 2-1 at home.
They seem to have the luxury to lose to Peru again, as the team that’s most likely to finish at the bottom of Group B is Venezuela.
Pick & Prediction
Who will win the Copa America 2021:
Brazil are favorites at +110. If you take a look at their squad, you will understand why. Neymar, Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, and the lot look capable of beating any team on the planet.
The problem is that there seems to be trouble in paradise – Brazil players are against Copa America being held in their country.
The reason behind this is the coronavirus crisis Brazil is facing, something which Casemiro spoke about last weekend. On Friday, June 4, he said there’s a consensus in the squad that the tournament should not go through.
Still, after speaking with people from the Brazilian FA, the players have decided to take part in the tournament. Whether all this will take a toll on the way thy play remains to be seen.
If it does, Argentina will want to take advantage. They’re craving for success, as the title drought has been going on for years. It’s been 34 years of hurt for Argentina fans, who demand a trophy.
Their suffering has amplified in the recent years for the fact that they haven’t been able to make use of arguably the best player in history – Lionel Messi.
All of that would be forgotten if they won this year’s Copa America, the one that they were supposed to host until only a few weeks ago. The event’s moved to Brazil, but there won’t be any Brazilians booing Messi and Co. from the stands, as COVID protocols will keep the doors closed to fans.