Copa America

Copa America Tipsheet: Argentina bet can land for fourth time at 10/11

Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi looks set to return for Argentina against Ecuador after injury.

Dan Fitch is expecting Argentina to once again show their defensive quality, as he previews their Copa America quarter-final against Ecuador and Venevuela's last-eight clash with Canada.

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The former Arsenal man has comitted six in four games so far at Euro 2024, and is no stranger to the referee as we know from his time in the Premier League.

England (60) have won the most fouls of any side at Euro 2024 (15 per game on average), with both Jude Bellingham (9) and Harry Kane (8) sitting in the top 10 of the most fouls won chart. Indeed, only three players (all 10) have managed more than Bellingham.

Argentina v Ecuador (Friday, 02:00)

The first of the 2024 Copa America quarter-finals sees Argentina taking on Ecuador in Houston.

Argentina qualified with a perfect record as they topped Group A, winning all three of their games and not conceding a single goal.

After a 2-0 win against Canada in their opener, followed by a 1-0 victory against Chile, La Albiceleste defeated Peru 2-0 in their final match.

That latter game gives Lionel Scaloni a pleasant dilemma, with Lautaro Martinez having grabbed a brace in his first start in the tournament, to take his tally to four goals.

It would seem harsh to drop the competition's top scorer back to the bench and with Lionel Messi returning from injury, Scaloni must work out how to accommodate them alongside Julian Alvarez.

Ecuador finished second in Group B. They bounced back from an opening defeat to Venezuela to beat Jamaica 3-1 and then held Mexico to a goalless draw to reach the quarter-finals.

It is the second successive Copa America in which Ecuador have made the last-eight and they also met Argentina at this stage in 2021, losing 3-0.

These sides last played back in September, with a late Messi goal giving Argentina a home victory in a World Cup qualifier. With Ecuador adept at frustrating their opponents, this promises to be tight. Back Argentina to win to nil for a fourth successive occasion at this tournament, at odds of 10/111.91.

Venezuela v Canada (Saturday, 02:00)

The second quarter-final takes us to Arlington, when Venezuela and Canada are the surprise participants.

Neither were rated by the oddsmakers as likely to reach this far, with Venezuela in particular, proving to be the surprise package of the tournament.

They won all three of their group games, joining Argentina and Uruguay as the only other sides to have achieved this feat.

Group B was always the most open looking group from this Copa America and looked likely to be a tight affair. Instead, Venezuela beat Ecuador 2-1, Mexico 1-0 and Jamaica 3-0.

There were signs that Venezuela could be competitive in this competition, having only lost one of their six World Cup qualifying games (W2 D3).

Venezuela's next opponent Canada are proving themselves to be a difficult side to beat under new manager Jesse Marsch.

After losing 4-0 to Netherlands in Marsch's debut, they then drew 0-0 with France and then in their first game in this tournament, 2-0 to Argentina. A 1-0 victory over Peru was followed by a 0-0 draw with Chile.

Three clean sheets in five games demonstrates that Canada are hard to break down, especially as they have faced some elite opposition. This should be a close game, with few goals, in which Venezuela have the edge. Combining Venezuela double chance with under 2.5 goals gives you odds of 10/111.91.

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