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Copa America preview: Are Neymar-less Brazil the favourites?

Brazil hosts the Copa America tournament for the first time in 30 years. Now with Neymar being injured, Are Brazil still the favourites to win the Cup.

Last updated: 20.06.2019
Copa America 2019 preview | Sports Social Blog

The oldest national teams competition got underway in Brazil. Brazil hosts the tournament for the first time in 30 years.

It is the 46th edition of the tournament and features 12 teams, 10 from South America plus Japan and Qatar. Through 45 Copa America tournaments, only eight different national teams have won the title. Uruguay have the most with 15, followed by Argentina (14) and Brazil (8). Chile, Paraguay, and Peru are next with two titles apiece while Colombia and Bolivia have one each.

But who are the favourites to lift the title this year?

1. Brazil

Neymar has been ruled with an ankle injury

After a lacklustre World Cup in Russia, Tite will be under pressure to deliver this time on home soil. The Selecao have won the tournament in each of the four times it has staged it but has not lifted the trophy since 2007.

With Neymar out, majority of the pressure will fall on Philippe Coutinho

They may have lost their star player Neymar due to injury but the men in yellow still have plenty of firepower within their ranks. Neymar being ruled out may be a blessing in disguise for the hosts who have been troubled with his off-field issues over the last few months. Philippe Coutinho is their go-to man in the absence of Neymar and scored a brace in a 3-0 win over Bolivia. With plenty of experience, talent and youth in the squad, Tite will be looking to guide Brazil to their ninth Copa America title.

Star player - Philippe Coutinho

2. Uruguay

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani

The most successful country in this competition are ranked second on this list and rightfully so. Uruguay have the squad to go all the way led by Luis Suarez.

Atletico centre-backs Giminez and Godin will partner for Uruguay at the back

A fit and hungry Suarez can spell danger to any team in the world. Some people have doubted his ability and whether or not he can continue to deliver, but let's not forget that the 32-year-old is coming off a 25-goal season with Barcelona and still has plenty to offer. He will be looking to light it up and quiet some doubters.

With Cavani alongside him, Uruguay possesses one of the deadliest duos in world football. And with Giminez and Godin at the heart of the defence, Uruguay also possesses one of the best centre-back duos in the game.

Star player - Luis Suarez

3. Argentina

All eyes will be on Lionel Messi to deliver for Argentina

One thing is guaranteed, Argentina will show plenty of promise following their disappointing World Cup campaign. And if any player is desperate to deliver for Argentina, it is Lionel Messi. The Argentine is coming into the national team after a prolific season with Barcelona as he ended the season with 51 goals in 50 games.

Lionel Messi and Lo Celso

Coach Lionel Scaloni has opted for a bit of a youth movement and has brought along guys who have proven themselves in Europe but maybe aren't at the level of being a household name. It will be interesting to see how Giovani Lo Celso combines with Messi as they have shown plenty of promise in their limited time with each other.

Star player - Lionel Messi

4. Columbia

James Rodriguez

An exciting and talented squad with a lack of discipline is the best way to describe Columbia. The backline with Yerry Mina and Davidson Sanchez is as talented as any central duo in the cup after Brazil and Uruguay, but they have to play with a bit more caution.

Radamel Falcao

Up front, the pressure will be on 33-year-old Radamel Falcao, with Atalanta striker Zapata being his back up. But a lot of the pressure will fall on James Rodriguez, who will be looking to be the creative force in the team and also chip in a few goals or a golazo or two. A balanced squad that really has strong players in the middle to carry this team, Colombia is a contender.

Star player - James Rodriguez

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