Uruguay’s Luis Suarez takes a shot in an attempt to score during a Copa America soccer match against Argentina at the National Stadium in Brasilia Brazil, Friday, June 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
- Group A is starting to take shape, and it continues Monday with winless Uruguay vs Chile and a heavily favored Argentina taking on Paraguay
- Chile and Argentina top the group with four points from two games, and can lock up quarter-final spots here
- Read on for a look at the odds, a full preview and best bets for this pair of crucial Copa America clashes
After a 1-0 loss to rival Argentina in its opening game, 15-time Copa America champion Uruguay will be looking to kick-start its 2021 campaign on Monday. It takes on Chile, a team which had to rely on a goal from an English-born forward to beat Bolivia in its last game.
Meanwhile, Argentina has yet to fire on all cylinders after scoring just two goals through its first two games in the tournament. Fans will be looking for Lionel Messi to get La Albiceleste clicking later on Monday. The Group A leader goes up against Paraguay, the only team with a 100-percent record so far in the group, although it has only played one game.
Uruguay vs Chile Odds
|Uruguay vs Chile||URU -1.5 (+295) | CHI +1.5 (-385)||URU +104| CHI +265
|Ov 2.5 (+120) | Un 2.5 (-148)|
Odds as of June 20 at DraftKings
Uruguay In A Slump
Last Friday’s loss to Argentina was Uruguay’s fourth straight game without a win or a goal, coming on the heels of a pair of goalless draws in World Cup qualifying against Venezuela and Paraguay. The pressure will be on head coach Oscar Tabarez to find a way to unlock the Chilean defense, which has proved resolute, conceding no more than a goal in five straight games.
But with a Uruguayan strike force that boasts 114 international goal between Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, it can safely be argued that Tabarez will be confident his best players will figure it out. After setting up his team against Argentina to be hard to beat, he could switch things up too, removing defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira and bringing in more creativity with the likes of Federico Valverde and Juventus man Rodrigo Bentancur potentially earning starts in a bid to provide more service to the strikers.
Chile Looking To Build On Strong Start
With four points from the first two games, La Roja is not just eying a quarter-final berth, but looking to get in as one of the higher seeds and therefore avoid an early knockout clash with tournament favorites. After a 1-1 draw against Argentina in its opening game, Chile got into the win column last Friday with a 1-0 victory over a pointless Bolivia, courtesy of a goal from Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton, who scored on his first start for his adopted country.
🏴 Born in Stoke
🏴 Plays for Blackburn
🇨🇱 Match-winner at #CopaAmerica
Ben Brereton is the hero for Chile and he can’t believe it! 😁 pic.twitter.com/JpwOL9GZ77
— Goal (@goal) June 18, 2021
The Championship forward will continue to lead the line here in the absence of Alexis Sanchez, alongside Eduardo Vargas, with the pair supported by a solid midfield of Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Erick Pulgar.
Chile has only managed 19 victories in 82 games against Uruguay, with 46 wins for La Celeste, including in the past two meetings. Chile hasn’t beaten Uruguay since a World Cup qualifier in 2016, but will be confident of getting a result here.
Best bet: Draw (+250)
Argentina vs Paraguay Odds
|Argentina vs Paraguay||ARG -1.5 (+155) | PAR +1.5 (-190)||ARG -200| PAR +650
|Ov 2.5 (+107) | Un 2.5 (-134)|
Argentina Eyes Last Eight
Messi and Co. know that a win on Monday night will seal a spot in the quarter-finals. If that’s not enough to mark the occasion, Messi will be making his 147th appearance for Argentina, tying Javier Mascherano for most in team history.
Most games for 🇦🇷 Argentina:
1️⃣4️⃣6️⃣ Messi 💥
1️⃣4️⃣3️⃣ Zanetti pic.twitter.com/hcXoGOpodV
— Barca Galaxy (@barcagalaxy) June 19, 2021
Despite the win last time out against rival Uruguay, on a solitary goal from Guido Rodriguez, manager Lionel Scaloni may be forced to change a winning lineup. Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso and winger Nicolas Gonzalez are currently doubts due to injury. Their absences could give opportunities to Exequiel Palacios and Paris St-Germain winger Angel Di Maria, however.
15-match unbeaten run.
Argentina defeat Uruguay 1-0 and get their first win of the 2021 Copa America.#CopaAmerica pic.twitter.com/dq7UjexYA1
— Isaac Waihenya (@IsaacWaihenya) June 19, 2021
Argentina will be confident of extending its 15-game unbeaten run here, with its last defeat coming in the 2019 Copa America semi-final against Brazil. While Messi can always be counted on, the team is tightening up defensively, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez keeping his first international clean sheet last Friday.
Emi Martinez kept his first ever cleansheet for Argentina. Surely many more will follow pic.twitter.com/xaY5v2bz5c
— Albiceleste Zone 🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteZone) June 19, 2021
Paraguay Face Messi, History
If facing Messi wasn’t hard enough, Los Guaranies also have to contend with the weight of history here, having never beaten Argentina in 22 all-time meetings at the Copa America. Paraguay will enter this game on the back of Friday’s 3-1 victory over Bolivia, however, it was made to work hard after falling behind in the 10th minute.
Winger Angel Romero will hope to continue his rich vein of form, having scored twice in that game, and Paraguay supporters can also point to xGD/90 of +3.13 that is tops in the Copa America so far, better even than the +2.74 of host Brazil. In 108 all-time meetings, Argentina has won 58 and lost just 16, so don’t expect that trend to be bucked here.
Best bet: Argentina -1.5 (+155); OVER 2.5 (+107)
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.