Group B of the Copa America Cenetario that will be going down in the United State Of America, provides a mix of experienced, inexperienced and individual talents. Brazil who are 8 times winner of Copa are deemed favorite to book a place in the Quarter final, with a possibility of Ecuador finishing top also considering their recent run of form in the World Cup qualifiers and their position on the latest FIFA ranking(12th placed).
Peru also has the prowess to stage a possible 2nd place finish considering their surprising exploit at the last Copa America in Chile, while Haiti could end up being the lashing boys as they will be featuring in their first Copa America Competition.
Let’s look at how each could fair in first stage of the competition.
Dunga will be tutoring Brazil for the special Edition of Copa America. The ex-footballer now turned coach was in charge of the 2007 Copa America team who ended up going all way to win the tournament for the 8th time that Edition. The 2007 Dunga led Brazil thrashed Argentina with a 3-0 scoreline in Venezuela!!!!
The Brazil team will be without the service of Barcelona star “Neymar Jnr’ due to his choice of a possible appearance at Olympic which will be taking place in Rio. Neymar won’t be the only top star to be missing in the competition as top guns like David Luiz, Oscar, Thiago were left off the squad. In addition Ricardo Kaka who initially replaced injured Douglas Costa has been dropped due to an hamstring injury he suffered in training. The former world best will be replaced with Henrique Ganso of Sao Paulo.
The strength of this Brazil side will be more at the middle of the pack where they have a very creative Coutinho, a tenacious and flexible Willian, and Casemiro who possesses great tackling ability. Going forward all hope will be on who is the most experienced player upfront.
Brazil are expected to finish top of the group, with big threat for Ecuador, and a slim one from a young Peru side.
Group Prediction: 1st
Key Player: Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Ecuador are in the best form of their life as they climb up to 12th position in the FIFA ranking ladder for the first time(Ranking for May). The Yellows sits top CONEMBOL World Cup qualifying defeating teams like Brazil, Uruguay on their way to the top.
Ecuador performance at the last Copa America Competition was bizarre, but considering Gustavo Quinteros side recent form, it is cool to say they have got the chance of winning their first Copa America tittle in this special edition. The yellows will however be without the services of top man ‘Felipe Calcido” but got England based striker “Enner Valencia” and Miller Bolanos who ply his trade with Gremio
Ecuador are expected to finish at least 2nd on the log, and they also pose great threat to 8times champions Brazil
Group Prediction: 2nd
Key Player: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Peru pulled a surprising 3rd place finish at the last edition of Copa America that took place in Chile. The 2 times Copa America champions have been going through rough times in their recent games going into this competition.
Gareca led side will be without the services of experienced Jefferson Farfan, and Claudio Pizzaro. However, the Peru side has in its disposal Paulo Guerrero who tied top goal scorer with 4 goals at the last edition of Copa America.
Peru with their young side could spring out a surprise, but regardless they should have a comfortable one over Haiti.
Group Prediction: 3rd
Key Player: Paulo Guerrero (Flamengo)
Haiti fought against Trinidad & Tobago to book a place in this special edition of Copa America. The Caribbean based country will be featuring in its first Copa tourney. They are lowest ranked team in the group and will be facing a Brazil side who is ranked 7th, Ecuador who is ranked 13th, and could get a fairer result against 48th ranked Peru.
Haiti could end up being the whipping boys, but an appearance in this tournament will add to the bag of growing experience.
Group Prediction: 4th
Key Player: Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon)