Copa America

Copa America Tipsheet: Back wins for Ecuador at 12/5 and Mexico at 10/3

Edson Alvarez
West Ham's Edson Alvarez will be in action at the Copa America for Mexico.

Dan Fitch is expecting a low scoring match between Ecuador and Venezuela at the Copa America, followed by an entertaining game between Mexico and Jamaica.

  • Ecuador and Venezuela will serve up a low scoring game

  • Mexico beat Jamaica in Gold Cup semi-finals last year

  • Reggae Boyz have plenty of firepower

Ecuador v Venezuela (Saturday, 23:00)

Group B of the 2024 Copa America begins on Monday, with this game between Ecuador and Venezuela.

Both teams enter this tournament in decent form. Venezuela are fourth in the standings for World Cup qualification from South America with only one defeat from six games (W2 D3).

Ecuador are a place behind them in fifth (P6 W3 D2 L1), but only because they have been deducted three points as punishment for falsifying the birth documents of Byron Castillo during the previous World Cup qualification campaign.

Felix Sanchez took charge of Ecuador after the last World Cup. After losing his first game against Australia, only Argentina (twice) and Italy have defeated them from a total of 15 games (W9 D2).

Both of Argentina's wins were narrow 1-0 victories. Ecuador are a team that don't concede many goals and the same could be said of Venezuela.

Over their last 14 games, only Italy have scored against them more than once, in a 2-1 victory in March. Venezuela kept six clean sheets from those 14 matches, which included a goalless home draw with Ecuador back in November.

Ecuador are rated as favourites to win this one and they do have a little bit of extra class, with a squad that contains the Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie and the Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo. What seems clear is that this is likely to be a low scoring game and you can back an Ecuador win and under 2.5 goals at 12/53.40.

Mexico v Jamaica (Sunday, 02:00)

Mexico and Jamaica provide the CONCACAF element in Group B and they begin their campaigns on Sunday morning in Houston.

Mexico are expected to make it through to the knockout stages of this competition, but their recent results would seem to suggest their ceiling limit. They have lost three of their last four games (W1), tasting defeat to USA in the Nations League and then in friendlies against Uruguay and Brazil.

That 4-0 loss to Uruguay and the 3-2 defeat to Brazil, highlights the defensive frailties that exist within this Mexican side when they face the very best.

Against more modest opposition they can more than compete, as was demonstrated last summer when they won the Gold Cup. Mexico went into that tournament with Jaime Lozano as their interim head coach and he was given the job permanently, following their success.

They met Jamaica in the semi-finals of that competition, winning 3-0 before beating Panama in the final.

Jamaica are managed by Heimir Hallgrimsson, who previously took Iceland to the 2018 World Cup. They have a squad that will have a lot of familiar faces to fans of English football, such as the Aston Villa forward Leon Bailey and a large number of UK-born pros who qualify for Jamaica, such as West Ham's Michail Antonio.

The Reggae Boyz have plenty of firepower, with the Clermont striker Shamar Nicholson having proved himself to be a reliable scorer at this level. While we have to assume Mexico will have the quality to win this, but Jamaica may well be able to take advantage of their defensive issues. Back a Mexico win and both teams to score at 10/34.33.

2024 Copa America Tips: Argentina will win at 7/4 but Uruguay can make final

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