Copa America Group B Preview

Although it’s not as tough as Group A, the teams that make up the group are harder to discern. Brazil despite their lack of results have good players in almost every position (except center forwards), Ecuador has had a great qualifying campaign but struggled in their last two games and in the friendly against the United States. Peru finished third in the last two Copa America but has yielded any other positive results, while Haiti seems to be the victim of the bunch.

BRAZIL

Where to begin? Brazil is the only team that is not taking the very best players at its disposal. Everyone (Except the Copa America Marketing Department) knew that Neymar was going to skip the tournament in favor of taking part of the Olympic tournament in August, but Dunga left other key players like Thiago SIlva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Danilo and Robinho on top of Douglas Costa due to injury are out of the roster.

Despite all of the absences Brazil still has a strong team. Dani Alves, Filipe Luis, Casemiro, Marquinhos, Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Hulk are the main stars of this team.

It might no longer be a mighty team to play against but they have enough firepower to win their group and get to semifinals.

Weaknesses: Forwards. This Brazilian team only has three attacking players. Hulk is the most experience of the bunch with 46 caps and 12 goals. However, Jonas from Benfica has only scored twice in nine appearances and youngster Gabriel from Santos FC will make his debut for his country during the tournament.

Who to watch for: Philippe Coutinho. He had a great season at Liverpool, he along with Willian and the two men in this roster than can change the course of the game with a moment of brilliance and Coutinho’s ability to score from long range can go a long way in helping a deplorable front line.

ECUADOR

Unlike many other South American teams Ecuador doesn’t have the exciting players than others, but under manager Gustavo Quinteros the team was able to get results such a 2-0 win at Argentina in world cup qualifying.

The big absence Ecuador has will be that of their main striker Felipe Caicedo. To add to the concerns the team looked flat and lacking ideas in the attack when they lost to the U.S. in a warm up game.

Weaknesses: Lack of depth, Ecuador can field a strong starting eleven they don’t have as many options on their bench.

Who to watch: Jefferson Montero. He is the most dynamic player the team has. He can play in the midfield on the midfield or behind the forward. Montero has characterized himself for being good on one on one’s and using his speed to get into space, he is by far the biggest threat for opposing teams.

HAITI

It’s hard to do write about a team you’re not familiar with, the one thing that the Haitian team can get out of their preparation is their 3-1 loss to Colombia in Miami.

Despite the loss Haiti was tied at 1 with Colombia when one of its players got sent off after 35 minutes and Colombia struggled to score twice in the remainder of the game.

Weaknesses: By far Haiti has the least talented group  of players from all 16 participating nations, but they’re much more skilled and prepared as the years have passed, they might be able to pull an upset and ruin someone’s party.

Who to watch for: Duckens Nazon. The young 22 year old striker who plays for Laval in France scored the only two Haiti goals in last year’s Gold Cup and has scored a total of 4 goals in 13 appearances for Haiti.

PERU

Which Peru are we going to see the team that has managed to finish third in the previous two tournaments or the eternal teams that struggles in world cup qualification. My money is for something in the middle.

The team has enough quality from midfield and up up front to get past Haiti and to cause serious concerns to both Ecuador and Brazil.

Weaknesses: Defense. The back-line is not the most experienced line on their team and good teams tend to take advantage in qualifying the team has allowed 12 goals in 6 games including three on the road to Brazil and four to Chile on home soil.

Who to watch for: Paolo Guerrero. He just loves to score in Copa America, between the two previous tournaments Guerrero has scored nine goals. He was the leading scorer in both tournaments although he shared the title in last year’s edition with Eduardo Vargas from Chile.

Prediction:

1) Brazil 7 pts., 2) Ecuador 5 pts. 3) Peru 4pts. 4) Haiti 0 pts.

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