Group C action in the 2019 Copa America kicks off in what should be a fascinating tie between Uruguay and Ecuador. The record 15-time winners have been pitted in a tough group which also feature current tournament champions, Chile, as well as Asian guests, Japan, so they’ll need to be at their best and get off to a winning start against the Ecuadorians, who are one of two countries in South America never to have won the Copa America.
2019 Copa America
Uruguay vs Ecuador
Monday 17 June
Uruguay are many pundits’ favourites to win the tournament with Neymar ruled out for Brazil, while Argentina are known for going far in major competitions, but never ever meeting expectation and lifting silverware.
Another boost for the Sky Blues is the fact that star-man Luis Suarez has been declared fit and available despite undergoing surgery on his knee just four weeks ago. He, alongside Edinson Cavani, make Uruguay a frightening force with Oscar Tabarez’s men widely recognised as one of the best performing teams that took part in last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In South America, they should be even more accustomed to the climate and pitch conditions.
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana
Defenders: Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, Marcelo Sarrachi
Midfielders: Giovanni Gonzalez, Diego Laxalt, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Nahitan Nandez, Federico Valverde, Nicolas Lodeiro, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Gaston Pereiro
Forward: Edinson Cavani, Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Jonathan Rodriguez, Luis Suarez
Ecuador will be hoping to achieve the impossible and come out of what seems to be the ‘group of death’, alongside Uruguay, Chile and Japan. The Tricolor are widely regarded as the team there for the taking in Group C, being the lowest ranked team amongst the others.
Hernan Dario Gomez will be relying on the two Valencia’s, Enner and captain, Antonio, both of which have undoubtedly the most experience in the camp, while it was also a boost for Ecuador to have their 33-year-old captain, who was recently released by Manchester United, playing his last game in the club’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City on the final day of the English Premier League.
Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez, Pedro Ortiz, Maximo Banguera
Defenders: Arturo Mina, Roberto Arboleda, Pedro Pablo Velasco, Cristian Ramirez, Xavier Arreaga, Jose Quintero, Beder Caicedo, Gabriel Achilier
Midfielders: Romario Ibarra, Renato Ibarra, Carlos Gruezo, Jefferson Intriago, Antonio Valencia, Ayrton Preciado, Jefferson Orejuela, Andres Chicaiza, Jhegson Mendez
Forwards: Carlos Garces, Angel Mena, Enner Valencia
Prediction: Uruguay (15/20)
Despite the fairly decent price of 15/20, the outcome of the match is expected to make that price look full value for money. Uruguay are 15-time record holders of this competition, and are the second highest ranked country in the Copa America. At 15/20, it’s an absolute steal to back Tabarez’s men.
Written by Jesse Nagel
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