Copa America 2019 Preview

The 46th edition of the Copa America takes place this summer in Brazil as South America’s best teams fight it out for the continental crown.

Heavyweights of world football such as Argentina and Brazil will lock horns, as well as the tournament’s most successful team, Uruguay.

With some of the best players in the world on display, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, it boasts a unique allure, with the continent’s Joga Bonito philosophy strongly imbued.

Ahead of the tournament, Marking The Spot brings you everything you need to know, including when it is, teams involved, fixtures, results and more.

When is the Copa America?

The 2019 Copa America will get under way on June 14th and it will run for three weeks until the final on July 7th.

Group games will finish on June 24th and there will be a three-day break before knockout fixtures are played from June 27th.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals with the remaining places filed by the two best third placed teams.

Tournament stage Date(s)
Group stage June 14 – June 24
Quarter-finals June 27 – June 29
Semi-finals July 2 – 3
Third-place play-off July 6
Final July 7

Notably it will be the last Copa America tournament to be held on an odd year, with CONMEBOL initiating a change to the scheduling.

From 2020 on, the Copa America will follow the same calendar as UEFA’s European Championship.

The teams competing for the title are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Japan and Qatar.

As you can see, there are 10 CONMEBOL representatives and two extra teams from the AFC, Qatar and Japan, who accepted invitations to take part.

It is the first Copa America not to feature any CONCACAF representatives since teams were first invited.

The Groups:

Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru Venezuela

Hot favourites, and the whole world knows how such a burden can weigh heavy on the Samba Boys, Brazil are staging their first Copa America since 1989, which they won ending a 19 year streak without a trophy since the unforgettable 1970 World Cup. Brazil have not won a major title since they lifted this trophy back in 2007 and after their failure to progress beyond the quarter final in last year’s World Cup the pressure on the team will be ultra intense as hosts.

Neymar, Brazil’s Golden Boy, will miss the tournament after picking up an ankle injury in a friendly against Qatar. He will leave a sizeable hole in the Selecao’s forward line that will be filled by the likes of Richarlison and Coutinho.

Bolivia haven’t won the Copa since 1963 and their best since has been the quarter finals, in 1995 and 2015 and their recent international record doesn’t bode well for this year’s tournament. After beating Myanmar 3-0 in October last year they lost 2-1 to Iran before a couple of goalless draws although stalemates against Iraq and the UAE can be perceived as decent results.

Venezuela has a very experienced squad, led by skipper Tomas Rincon. The Torino midfielder with 91 appearances, is his countries third most capped player but their best known player is Salomon Rondon. Much will depend on his ability on front of goal and despite the fact his international record of 21 goals in 70 appearances is hardly prolific it does seem that he is spearheading Newcastle to Premier League safety.

One external factor that may affect Venezuela will be the political situation back home once the Copa begins.

Peru participated in the 2018 World Cup but failed to progress beyond the group stage. The squad is very inexperienced with only five players in double figures as far as caps are concerned. Peru’s main man is 35 year old striker Paulo Guerrero who has a tally of 35 goals in his squad best total of 89 international appearances.

Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Qatar

Argentina have reached the last two Copa America Finals and only lost on penalties, each time. The big question for the two-time World Cup winners will be whether or not the squad can gel following retirements after last year’s World Cup. It may be Lionel Messi’s last chance at an international trophy although he will only be 34 by the time Qatar 2022 comes around. Sergio Aguero is almost exactly one year younger than Messi but will score goals for ever. The ace predator is in his prime and is getting better as he gets older. Messi and Aguero could carry the nation all the way to lifting the trophy and let’s not forget some of the others; Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Nicolas Otamendi.

It’s difficult to look beyond Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez when looking at the Colombia squad but delve a little deeper and there’s David Ospina, one of the most capped goalkeepers in the world as well as Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez. Then there’s Everton’s Yerry Mina who has an impressive international goal tally, six goals in 15 appearances, and he’s a centre half. Also worthy of mention is Glasgow Rangers’ volatile striker Alfredo Morelos who is a natural predator when in front of goal, if he can control his volatile temperament. Colombia will be a serious force in Brazil.

Paraguay had their best ever performance in this competition when they finished runners-up to Uruguay in 2011 and will be hoping 2019 is kinder to them than 2018 when they failed to win any of their games, the best result being a 1-1 draw in South Africa. The squad is awash with inexperienced players and only a handful are in double figures though midfielder Cristian Riveros is in treble figures, he won his 101st cap in 2018.

Qatar football has been on the rise ever since the country was awarded the 2022 World Cup and fresh from their Asian Cup success they will bring an extra exciting element to the Copa America. The football world awaits the thrilling forward play provided by Qatar’s goal duo, Aram Afif and Almoez Ali.

Group C: Uruguay, Chile, Japan, Ecuador

Much will be expected of holders Chile with extra burden on Alexis Sanchez who needs to pull up a few more trees in Brazil than he has since moving to Manchester United from Arsenal. La Roja will be looking for a hat-trick of Copa America triumphs having won in 2015. Chile will certainly have to do it the hard way being part of the most difficult group of the draw.

Japan, who were favourites for the Asian Cup, will be looking to make amends for their shock defeat to Qatar. Uruguay, expected to win the group as well as go all the way to the Final, know they will have to be on top form for all three group games.

Uruguay have three world class stars led by the master of the art of defensive football, 125 capped skipper Diego Godin. The Atletico Madrid centre back is pivotal to the astonishing defensive record his club enjoys in La Liga while at the other end of the team Luis Suarez, 55 goals in 106 international appearances, and Edinson Cavani, 46 in 109 caps, will frighten the defence of any international side.

The only concern for Uruguay will be Suárez’s fitness. The Barcelona striker underwent knee surgery in mid May and will be fighting to be at his best come the start of the tournament.

Ecuador won’t be worried about any team in this group or the Copa itself. If current coach Hernan Gomez has any sense, and he is the only coach to have led three different countries to World Cup qualification, he will lean heavily on Ecuador’s Under 20 squad who won the recent South America Under 20 Championship.

The stadiums:

Stadium City Capacity
Estadio do Maracana Rio de Janeiro 74,738
Estadio do Morumbi Sao Paulo 67,428
Estadio Mineirao Belo Horizonte 58,170
Arena do Gremio Porto Alegre 55,662
Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Salvador 51,900
Arena Corinthians Sao Paulo 49,205

The opening match will be played at Estadio do Morumbi – home of the famous Sao Paulo FC – in Sao Paulo and the final will take place at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The fixtures:

Group A

Date Game Time (GMT ) Venue
June 14 Brazil vs Bolivia 1:30am Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo
June 15 Venezuela vs Peru 8pm Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
June 18 Bolivia vs Peru 10:30pm Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo
June 18 Brazil vs Venezuela 1:30am Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
June 22 Peru vs Brazil 8pm Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo
June 22 Bolivia vs Venezuela 8pm Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte

Group B

Date Game Time (GMT) Venue
June 15 Argentina vs Colombia 11pm Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
June 16 Paraguay vs Qatar 8pm Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
June 19 Colombia vs Qatar 10:30pm Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo
June 19 Argentina vs Paraguay 1:30am Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
June 23 Qatar vs Argentina 8pm Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
June 23 Colombia vs Paraguay 8pm Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador

Group C

Date Game Time (GMT) Venue
June 16 Uruguay vs Ecuador 11pm Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
June 17 Japan vs Chile 12am Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo
June 20 Uruguay vs Japan 12am Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
June 21 Ecuador vs Chile 12am Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
June 24 Chile vs Uruguay 12am Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
June 24 Ecuador vs Japan 12am Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte

Quarter-finals

27 June  1:30am
Winner Group A Match 19 3rd Group B/C
Venue: Arena do Grêmio, Porto Alegre

28 June 8pm
Runner-up Group A Match 21 Runner-up Group B
Venue: Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro

28 June 12am
Winner Group B Match 20 Runner-up Group C
Venue: Arena Corinthians, São Paulo

29 June 8pm
Winner Group C Match 22 3rd Group A/B
Venue: Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador

 

Semi-finals

2 July 1:30am
Winner Match 19 Match 23 Winner Match 21
Venue: Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte

3 July  1:30am 
Winner Match 20 Match 24 Winner Match 22
Venue: Arena do Grêmio, Porto Alegre

 

Third place play-off

6 July 8pm
Loser Match 23 Match 25 Loser Match 24
Venue: Arena Corinthians, São Paulo

 

Final

7 July  9pm
Winner Match 23 Match 26 Winner Match 24
Venue: Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro

 

There is your complete guide to the 2019 Copa America. Be sure to come back here everyday for match reports and all the latest news regarding this summer’s tournament!

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