Even though there are still several months left before the start of the 2019 Copa America, it’s never too early to start analysing what’s going to happen in the tournament. The Brazil-based tournament will have the hosts as one of the top candidates. But there are other squads worth mentioning ahead of this event. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay all look like potential title contenders. And other sides such as Colombia, Paraguay and even Peru might make more noise than expected.
Without further ado, here is an in-depth analysis of each group heading into the 2019 Copa America.
Group A: Brazil undoubtedly sit at the top dog
Brazil might not have won the Copa America title since 2007, but could anyone disagree with them being one of the top candidates to lift the trophy this year? Especially since they’ll be playing at home and in front of their crowd. Following the 2018 FIFA World Cup disappointment, Brazil are heavily expected to be one of the teams to watch in this competition. Their star-studded squad led by Neymar but filled with star players on some of the best teams in Europe certainly invites the fans to dream about a new title for La Canarinha. Something that has been quite elusive of late.
Which team comes behind them, however, remains to be seen. Peru are coming off some impressive performances and a World Cup appearance, so they could be seen as a potential threat. Venezuela are a team on the rise but they’re not quite there yet in order to challenge some of the big boys in the CONMEBOL region – but they might have a chance to end as one of the two top-ranked third-placed teams. And Bolivia continue their rebuilding process. One that doesn’t seem to have an end any time soon.
Group B: Death Group for La Albiceleste
Argentina reached the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals, but lost against Chile via penalties on both cases. There’s a lot of uncertainity regarding La Albiceleste right now. Basically, no one knows what’s going to happen with the squad. Will Lionel Messi return to the side in time for the Copa America? What about Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, and others? And is Lionel Scaloni the right man to lead this team going forward following the 2018 FIFA World Cup fiasco? Undoubtedly, there are more questions than answers. But Argentina should always be a title contender due to their impressive squad and continental pedigree.
They won’t have an easy fixture, though. Argentina got squared in the so-called “Group of Death” – seemingly, every tournament has one of those, hasn’t it? Scaloni’s men will go against Paraguay, who could be a dangerous side with a new head coach in Juan Carlos Osorio. They will also play against Colombia, a side that must be one of the most-talented units in the tournament but remains an unknown following the appointment of Carlos Queiroz. And we also have Qatar, who shouldn’t be a team anyone would take for granted. The hosts of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup recently won the Asian Cup title, and could turn a few heads with their display.
Truth be told, things won’t be easy for Argentina. But they should be good enough to reach the final stages of the tournament.
Group C: Chile and Uruguay to battle for top spot
Last but not least, we have Group C. The reigning title-holders, Chile, and 2011 champions Uruguay look like the dominant sides in this zone, and for good reason. Aside from being the most-recent winners of the competition, both have an inmense amount of talent at their disposal. Chile have been a bit underwhelming under the tutelage of Reinaldo Rueda since they are trying to mix young players into their current core, but nonetheless they should remain a threat. And the same could be said about Uruguay, a team that will always be dangerous with their attacking duo of Luis Suarez (Barcelona) and Edinson Cavani (PSG).
The other two teams in this group, Ecuador and Japan, are widely expected to battle for a potential third-place qualification. Ecuador are on the same process as Venezuela since they’re currently rebuilding the squad, but own several interesting impactful players. Names such as Miller Bolaños, Luis Antonio Valencia, Angel Mena and Enner Valencia should lead the side once again. Meanwhile, Japan finished second in the Asian Cup earlier this month. Their whole squad might be an unknown, but don’t sleep on them. They have nothing to lose, and that could make them a dangerous side.
When does the tournament start?
The XLVI edition of the tournament will begin on June 14th, and will last until July 7th.
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