Copa America Group B: Uruguay play Paraguay in crunch clash
It promises to be a dramatic and thrilling final round of fixtures in 2015 Copa America Group B, as surprising Paraguay, currently joint-top pool leaders, take on Uruguay, who must defeat their rivals or risk the lottery of a third place finish.
Argentina are also in action, featuring in duel with bottom-dwellers Jamaica, as the South American giants aim to take advantage of their competitors’ clash and finish in pole position.
Uruguay v Paraguay
The pressure is beginning to mount on big-guns Uruguay, who can still advance with a draw (11/5 with Coral) here, but will be in a precarious position should they lose, so will be expected to go for the jugular against surprise package Paraguay.
La Celeste (evens for victory), have shown little of their true potential in the tournament so far, having scraped a 1-0 win over Jamaica and lost by the same margin to Argentina, but are undefeated in their past four outings against La Albirroja.
Suspended striker Luis Suarez’s absence has certainly been felt, so PSG predator Edinson Cavani, 4/1 to fire home the opener, must step up now his nation need him. Atletico Madrid-owned wingman Cristian Rodriguez is the only La Celeste star to have found the net so far, and is a great shout at 10/3 to unlock Paraguay’s defence anytime.
As for La Albirroja (3/1 to triumph), they go into this final group encounter in a position of strength, and will fancy their chances having previously shown the spirit to come back from 2-0 to draw with Argentina. Toluca forward Edgar Benitez (10/3 to net anytime) made the difference against Jamaica but, just like Cavani for La Celeste, talisman and striker Roque Santa Cruz (15/8) needs to show his quality in this vital battle.
Argentina v Jamaica
Giants La Albiceleste shook off an early wobble to defeat Uruguay last time out, with Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero (9/4 to notch last) dispatching the only strike to deliver victory, and will now be hoping to make light work of the Reggae Boyz.
Odds-on at 1/8 to win their final pool outing, Argentina have taken the spoils from both of their previous two tussles against the Caribbean country, striking seven over those meetings, and could qualify as group winners depending on other results. Downing their opponents by a large margin should be the aim then, with La Celeste 12/5 to thrash tournament guests Jamaica by four or more.
Imperious skipper Lionel Messi is a terrific 2/1 to draw first blood, though formidable Juventus forward Carlos Tevez could be handed a chance to impress, and is 3/1 to bag a brace or better.
For the Reggae Boyz, who are yet to record a win or even a goal, London-born Giles Barnes, previously of Fulham and West Bromwich Albion fame, is the best chance of breaching La Albiceleste’s backline and is 5/1 in the anytime market.
Coral’s betting tip: Uruguay and Paraguay look a tasty chance to draw @ 11/5