Barcelona’s all South American front three carried away the Champions League trophy, and whilst Luis Suarez might still be on the international naughty step, Lionel Messi and Neymar’s next stop is Chile for the Copa America.
Twelve teams descend on South America’s longest, thinnest country for what will be some late night action for us Europeans, but action which will certainly be worth staying up for nonetheless.
As always, Unibet are offering a huge array of markets for the three-week tournament, but where should your money be going?
Even with the absence of Suarez the names at the top of this list would grace any World XI, with Lionel Messi predictably heading the betting as the 4.50 favourite.
His Barcelona colleague Neymar – the scorer of the clincher in Berlin and a staggering 39 goals for his club during the campaign – is probably better value at 6.00 though, especially given his extraordinary international record of 43 strikes in 62 appearances (Messi has 45 in 97).
For each-way shots, Sevilla’s Europa League winner Carlos Bacca could be worth, er, backing at 18.00 if he gets in the team ahead of Radamel Falcao and Jackson Martinez, whilst Ecuador will fancy their chances of getting out of their group given that they’ve avoided Argentina and Brazil, and West Ham’s Enner Valencia will be their main man at 51.00.
With three groups of four producing eight quarter-finalists, two of the three third-placed teams will advance to the last eight.
A treble which places hosts Chile as the winners of Group A, Argentina of Group B and Brazil of Group C comes in at a pretty healthy 2.99, with lower price backers able to get Bolivia and Jamaica as the doormats in Group A and B as a 1.53 double.
The tightest contest for a top two finish looks to be between Ecuador and Mexico in Group A, and with the latter winning a friendly between the pair in March, perhaps they should be trusted to nick it at 1.80.
With so many star names gracing the tournament, Unibet have produced a goal line for all of them.
The prices that deserve particular attention are the 2.10 available for Alexis Sanchez to net over 2.5 times for the host country Chile, with 2.25 for Neymar to score over 3.5 times for Brazil, who will play six matches were they to go all the way to the final.
Radamel Falcao’s poor form is reflected by his price of 1.65 to net fewer than 2.5 times, with Lionel Messi’s 1.85 to score over 3.5 times perhaps under threat before Argentina have even got out of the group stages.
HIGHEST SCORING GROUP
The highest scoring group market is always a fun one to get into when you approach a tournament in strictly neutral mode, and for this one the eyes are drawn to the 2.40 available on Group B featuring the most strikes. The reason? The invitation of CONCACAF’s Jamaica.
This article is being written a year to the day since Jamaica lost 8-0 in a friendly to France, and although results have improved since then they are about to face a sharp step up in class again when they take on Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
With the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero and Edinson Cavani licking their lips, expect them to concede plenty of goals.
Argentina take favouritism at 3.00, but there might be better value in backing Brazil at 4.33.
Having been desperately poor the last time the tournament was staged four years ago the Brazilians are determined to put things right in Chile and move on from the farcical ending to their World Cup, and with new/old coach Dunga leading them to nine straight victories since that emotional exit, a ninth Copa America triumph could be on the cards.
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