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Can Brazil Win the 2019 Copa America?

| May 2, 2019 12:00 am PDT
2019 Copa America

With only a few months until the start of the 2019 Copa America in Brazil, the host country has been named the favorite to win the tournament for the first time since 2007.

After switching with Chile as host in 2015 due to the Olympics and World Cup, Brazil is the setting for the continent’s biggest soccer competition, and the Selecao is desperate to play up to its top billing and lift the trophy at the start of July.

Star player Neymar has just come back from injury and is expected to be fully fit by the time the tournament kicks off on June 14.

But Brazil has a never-ending supply of top players that represent some of the best teams on the planet, so it’s not surprising that the online betting sites have installed them as the favorite.

Can Brazil win this year’s Copa America? I’m going to take a look at the squad’s strengths — and also at who else could take the trophy this summer.

Latest Copa America 2019 Odds

First, let’s take a look at the latest outright winner odds, courtesy of Betway.


As expected, Brazil and Argentina are heavily favored, with Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay the other nations given at least a chance of glory this summer.

Following the lead of the last few Copa Americas, there are also two guest countries invited to take part, but the bookmakers don’t fancy their chances much.

Japan had a good World Cup in 2018, so it may be able to cause a few surprises, but although Qatar sensationally won the Asian Cup at the start of the year, it will only really be looking to test itself before hosting the World Cup in 2022.

My initial thoughts about these early pre-tournament prices are that Chile seems to be relying on former glories to attract such generous odds, as I think the team that won the Copa America in 2015 and the Copa America Centenario in 2016 has lost its shine.

Questions over Lionel Messi’s appearance at the competition dominate Argentina’s preparation, and although I understand why the bookmakers have the Albiceleste as second favorites, I don’t see them having a great tournament.

Brazil is under incredible pressure to win the 2019 Copa America, and I think it has a great chance of living up to that expectation this year. The odds are not too attractive but probably fair given the squad Tite has at his disposal.

The Neymar Effect

Although Neymar was not involved in Brazil’s two most recent games against Panama and the Czech Republic, he is expected to be available for this summer’s tournament.

After coming back from injury only recently, the talismanic forward scored in the French Cup final defeat to Rennes and played another 90 minutes against Montpellier.

Neymar’s fitness is probably key to Brazil’s potential success this summer. Although the Selecao has more than enough talent to beat anyone in the competition, the psychological boost the PSG man gives to his teammates by his sheer presence cannot be underestimated.

Although mostly known for its attacking flair, Brazil has incredible players throughout the team, and Alisson, Casemiro, and the veteran Thiago Silva provide a solid spine that allows the trickier players to do their thing.

New Additions

The conveyor belt of Brazilian talent never seems to slow down, and there has been another influx of players into the squad over the last few months that could have a very positive effect in the summer.

David Neres is one of the stars of the Ajax side that has been knocking out the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in this season’s Champions League. The pacey forward likes to play wide and cut in to score and will be a very good backup to Neymar at the Copa America.

Felipe Anderson found life tough at the start of this season as West Ham struggled in the Premier League. But the former Lazio attacking midfielder has adapted to the English game as the campaign has gone on and was recalled into the squad for the first time since 2015 for the recent friendlies.

Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta has had a fine first season in Serie A after his move from Flamengo, but Brazil fans will be worried that his form has seemed to drop recently as the Italian season draws to a close. He didn’t have the best of games against the Czech Republic, either, although he did score his first international goal in the draw against Panama.

Another up-and-coming star introduced recently is Gremio’s Everton. One of the few players in the squad still playing their soccer in Brazil, Everton is another who will provide an alternative to the tried and tested attackers such as Firmino and Jesus and will be desperate to prove his worth if given the chance by Tite.

Challengers to Brazil

With Brazil’s odds of winning the Copa America not incredibly enticing, there are a number of other nations who might be worth a look.

After a very disappointing World Cup in Russia, Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international soccer, which would have left possibly the best player of all time ending his time with Argentina without picking up a Copa America winners medal.

It now looks likely that the Barcelona striker will return for this summer’s tournament, and head coach Lionel Scaloni will be really hoping that that is the case. With a squad full of talent — but short on experience after the retirement of other key members of the team — I think Argentina is another side too readily favored by the bookmakers.

Lionel Messi is absolutely key to any chance of Argentina winning the Copa America this year, but I feel that is too much pressure on the great one’s shoulders.

With a price of 9.00 to win the trophy, Uruguay would be my alternative wager in this summer’s Copa America. With a youthful midfield duo of Rodrigo Bentancur and Lucas Torreira able to run the show in front of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez — probably the finest center back partnership in the world — Oscar Tabarez’ men will take some beating.

If Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani can link up like they did in Russia last year, then there will be many Copa America defenses torn apart by the experienced duo’s skills.

The only other nation I think stands a chance of beating Brazil to the 2019 Copa America is Colombia. Star striker Radamel Falcao may be heading to his final major tournament and would love to go out with a bang.

If James Rodriguez and the newly fit again Juan Cuadrado can conjure up the skills of a few years ago, then Colombia might be in with a chance — although it does face Argentina and an underrated Paraguay side in the group stage.

My Picks

I think Brazil has started to get back to its best at just the right time. The favorite tag for this summer’s Copa America is wholly justified, and with fully fit Neymar, I feel like this could be the Selecao’s year.

Neymar was coming back from injury for the 2018 World Cup, but the difference this time is that the PSG forward has had more time to rest before returning to action.

A few more games for his club side before the end of the French domestic season — as well as the two pre-tournament friendlies for Brazil in June — should see the mercurial striker ready to take on the rest of the continent at the Copa America.

PICKBrazil to Win the 2019 Copa America2.62

But for a little bit more value from your wager, I would also take a look at Uruguay — especially if you are able to place an each way bet. You would only get a third of the odds with this selection, but I think a price of 3.00 to get to the final is very attractive.

If Uruguay wins its group, it cannot meet Brazil until the final, and I think that’s exactly what will happen.

PICKUruguay to Win the 2019 Copa America (E/W)9.00

Final Words

This summer’s Copa America promises to be a fantastic — and fascinating — competition. The colors and atmosphere of this tournament are rarely beaten, and we will get to see some of the world’s finest players performing on their home continent.

Brazil will be expected to lift the trophy by an adoring — if unforgiving — public, but whatever the results, we are sure to be in for an incredible three and a half weeks of soccer.

Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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