Copa America 2011

This entry was posted on Friday, July 1st, 2011

Talented Brazilians keeping you up all night again…

The Copa America, South America’s version of the European Championships begins early Saturday morning, with a fixture between the hosts Argentina and underdogs Bolivia. This tournament is normally a cracking watch, and given the fact that from 2012, the Euros will have 24 teams in it (thanks Michel,) it may now be the best non-World Cup competition around. Here are three things to bear in mind if you fancy a punt:

1) Be wary of the group stages:

Since 8 teams out of the 12 progress to the Quarter Finals, it is effectively harder to go out at the group stage than it is to stay in it. Defensive football is thus inevitable – three draws would almost certainly see a team qualify.

2) Get your map out:

Whilst we all think of South America as this cute little thing, the truth is completely different. Vast swathes of land incorporating different time zones and climates are contained within the continent. Hence it is of little surprise that only once in modern Copa America history has the winner come from outside a border state of the host – back in 1993 when Batigol’s Argentina won in Ecuador.

3) Stay clear of the obvious:

Despite injury to Claudio Pizarro which has ruled him out of the tournament, Peru may well make a charge to the semis, and at 470 at Betfair, are a wise ‘back-to-lay’ punt, if you wish to avoid merely backing the big two.

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