Just 2 days until the start of the Copa America 2015, and I have fallen behind in doing my previews for each side – we should really be stepping up in the next 48 hours, and hope to do the remaining 9 in the next 36 hours or so, so be prepared for them to come thick and fast!
Next up is Colombia, who after a very good World Cup are among the top favourites for this, outside of the likes of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. They have a fantastic squad that comprises of some of the highest rated players in Europe. Here is their 23 man squad for the upcoming tournament:
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Atletico Nacional), Cristian Bonilla (La Equidad)
Defenders: Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Carlos Valdes (Nacional de Montevideo), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Jeison Murillo (Granada), Pablo Armero (Flamengo), Pedro Franco (Besiktas), Darwin Andrade (Standard Liege)
Midfielders: Alexander Mejia (Monterrey), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa), Edwin Cardona (Monterrey), Edwin Valencia (Santos), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Chelsea), Victor Ibarbo (AS Roma)
Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sampdoria).
Possible Lineup: (4-2-2-2) – Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Murillo, Armero, Sanchez, Cardona, Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Falcao, Bacca
Coach: Jose Pekerman
What to Expect?
Pekerman is likely to stick with the 4-2-2-2 formation that served him well last summer, with Cuadrado and Rodriguez on the wings, with two holding midfielders. Freddy Guarin is missing, and the living legend that is Mario Yepes retiring. With Carlos Bacca on fire at the moment, there is no chance he would be left out, and with big-man Falcao likely to start as well, it could be the time he finally re-finds his world class midas-touch. I believe they are being underestimated for this, with odds larger than the price for Chile. What to expect? The same as last summer, and with them being in the same group as Brazil, it could be very interesting!
Where to start? Falcao, Cuadrado, Bacca, Rodriguez…another South American side brimming with attacking flair. Their entire front-line is as dangerous as they come! Even off the bench, you have Jackson Luis Muriel, Victor Ibarbo and more!
- Winner – 11/2 4th favourite
- Highest Scoring Team @ 6/1 (Top Value)
- To Reach the Final @ 15/8
- Group Winner – 9/5
- Top Scorers: Falcao @ 14/1, Bacca @ 16/1, Rodriguez @ 25/1
With them playing Venezuela and Peru, they could rack up a few goals. Even against Brazil, they could score a couple. I think they will score between 5-8 goals in the group phase, and upto around 12 in total if all goes well. That is my favourite bet for them. The pace of their front-line means they will get in behind defences, and with the finishing ability of Bacca and Falcao, not to mention many others – they should score a hatful!
I’m fully expecting a Semi Final – as should the fans and the team themselves. With their squad, on paper at least – that is a realistic goal. They are probably the most exciting team to watch at the moment!