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Copa America close clashes galore as likes of Argentina and Mexico begin campaigns

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | June 4, 2016

Jamaica v Venezuela

  • Group C
  • Sunday, June 5th
  • Kick-off: 22:00 BST
  • Soldier Field, Chicago
  • Live on Premier Sports

Jamaica hope to edge Venezuela again

Caribbean Cup champions Jamaica are the slight outsiders to win this match, but their odds of 19/10 with Coral for a win look tempting with the nation having just beaten Venezuela (8/5 shouts) most recently last year.

The result that day was 2-1, which is the scoreline the Reggae Boyz achieved in their only other victory over the South Americans, so tasty odds of 11/1 say Jamaica can do it again.

Former Derby County wonderkid Giles Barnes, now of Houston Dynamo, got the winner that day, and the London-born attacker is 7/4 in the anytime market or 6/1 to strike last again.

English-born players aplenty for Reggae Boyz

Gold Cup Jamaica US Soccer

Other familiar Reggae Boyz names from English leagues include Clayton Donaldson (7/4 anytime), Jobi McAnuff (11/2) and Garath McCleary (11/4).

At the back, meanwhile, Jamaica happen to have a recent Premier League-winning captain to call upon in Wes Morgan, so you can back them at 19/10 to keep a clean sheet.

Semi-finalists in 2011, Venezuela, however, have won three of their six total meetings, with the other being a draw, so perhaps a share of the spoils also at 19/10 is the best shout to go for.

This South American nation are nicknamed The Plainsmen, and can hope to count on the likes of West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon for goals. He is even-money to net anytime, and 5/1 to bag a brace or better.

Mexico v Uruguay

  • Group C
  • Monday, June 6th
  • Kick-off: 01:00 BST
  • University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale
  • Live on Premier Sports

Passions set to run high in game at Glendale

Football crazy countries Mexico (8/5 favourites) and Uruguay (19/10) lock horns for the 20th time in history and sixth time in the Copa America.

The Aztecs are winning head-to-heads in both, though the duo have battled out seven draws between them in that time, meaning another share of the spoils at 19/10 too looks tempting to take.

La Celeste have claimed the last two matches, in the 2011 Copa America and 2010 World Cup, by a 1-0 margin. If you fancy that scoreline again in favour of the Urugay, then take terrific odds of 13/2.

Chile Mexico Soccer

Suarez hoping to be fit to lead Uruguay line

With two top teams against each other, there will be a whole host of high-profile names on show too, also Barcelona’s Luis Suarez is a major doubt through injury.

Oscar Tabarez can still call on PSG forward Edinson Cavani (6/5 in the anytime market), as well as Cristhian Stuani (2/1), Abel Hernandez (7/4) and Gaston Ramirez (5/1), who were all recently promoted to the English Premier League.

While, Mexico have prolific Bayer Leverkusen frontman Javier Hernandez, Benfica’s Raul Jimenez and Oribe Peralta to pick from up front. Elsewhere, familiar names Guillermo Ochoa, Rafael Marquez and Andres Guardado are also in the squad.

Panama v Bolivia

  • Group D
  • Tuesday, June 7th
  • Kick-off: 00:00 BST
  • Camping World Stadium, Orlando
  • Delayed coverage on Premier Sports (04:00)

Bolivia to belie odds for victory

With two wins apiece in four head-to-heads, this match looks close on paper too, so a draw at 2/1 once again looks enticing.

As Central Americans Panama (21/20 favourites) are taking part in their first ever Copa America, though, 1963 champions Bolivia’s outright match odds of 3/1 are too good not to take.

Soccer - Bolivia v Chile

La Verde were even quarter-finalists in the last edition of this event, thanks to former Wigan Athletic loanee Marcelo Moreno’s goals. With the striker now retired from internationals, it means that Juan Carlos Arce (6/4 in the anytime market) on his 50th cap will be the main man up front.

For The Canal Men, Panama, who’ve called up a very experienced side, the likes of veterans Luis Tejada and Blas Perez (both 5/4) will be hoping to find the net.

Argentina v Chile

  • Group D
  • Tuesday, June 7th
  • Kick-off: 03:00 BST
  • Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara
  • Delayed coverage on Premier Sports (10:30)

Argentina to gain revenge in repeat of 2015 final

Finally, the big one (or el grande in Spanish) of the four fixtures; it’s a repeat of last year’s final, where then-hosts Chile triumphed on penalties over the all-star Argentines.

Tournament 7/4 favourites Argentina are the even-money match favourites too for this clash, given that they have won a whopping 57 of their 86 meetings – losing just six times.

La Albiceleste boast superstars such as Lionel Messi (7/2 to score to or more), Sergio Aguero (4/1), Gonzalo Higuian (evens anytime) and Angel Di Maria (7/4) amongst their ranks, and they’ll be determined to make amends for their shock loss in the 2015 final.

Argentina, who were last champions way back in 1993, are on a decent run leading up to this event, having won all three of their matches this year.

All-star Argentines will be too hot for Chile

Argentina Ecuador Wcup Soccer

One of which included a 2-1 triumph over Chile while the other two were against Bolivia and Honduras, without conceding. A win to nil in favour of Gerardo Martino’s men is a tempting 2/1 price.

Don’t count out Chile (14/5 match shouts), who have a few top talents themselves among a highly attacking squad called up.

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal will be key to La Roja’s chances here, and can be backed at 2/1 and 11/4 respectively to strike anytime.

The likes of Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Charles Aranguiz and Eduardo Vargas form a strong side for the defending champions.

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