Football aficionados are spoilt for choice this June as two big footballing tournaments are all set to begin and will run simultaneously over the next few weeks. It is expected that Euro 2016 in France this summer with high profile players will grab more eyeballs but the Centenario version of Copa America in the United States also features big names, who will battle it out to clinch the prestigious trophy.
1. Sergio Aguero
Argentina Forward Sergio Aguero is one key player to watch out for in this edition of Copa America. The Man City striker is in incredible form with 24 premier league goals to his name this season. He has been denied twice in two big major finals, the Copa America final feat to Chile and the last World Cup final defeat to Germany. Critics believe that Argentina is the favourite to lift the Copa America title this time around with Aguero having every chance to grab the tournament’s top scorer award.
2. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez played a pivotal role in Chile’s title Copa America triumph in the last edition. He scored the winning penalty in Chile’s title glory and is expected to maintain his domination over the opposition defenders in this year’s Centenario version of Copa America in USA.
The Arsenal winger has scored 31 times in 95 appearances for Chile and 13 goals and 4 assists in the last premier league season, With Sanchez in such magnificient form, Chile is expected to ease through the group stage with Argentina, Bolivia and Panama being the other teams in Group D.
3. Philippe Coutinho
Although there are rumours of Philippe Coutinho facing a tough time to make it to first team, the Liverpool midfielder has enough potential to tear apart the opposition defense and pull up some exceptional finishes for Brazil. With 8 goals this premier league season, the 23-year-old midfielder has also played a vital role in Liverpool’s Europa league campaign.
4. Nicolas Otamendi
Another Argentinian who is expected to have a huge impact in this Centenario version of Copa America is Manchester City defender Otamendi. With his rock solid presence at the back, Otamendi has managed to be a permanent starter for both Argentina and Manchester City. Initially life at premier league was a bit sticky for the Man City centre-back, however with back to back impressive performances he is expected to make life tough for the opposition strikers.
Willian was the only positive aspect to talk about in Chelsea’s disastrous prermier league season. With tremendous pace and skills, Willian is expected to play an important role in Brazil’s Copa America campaign. The Chesea winger has 5 goals to his name in the recently concluded EPL season. Brazil will lock horns against Ecaudor in their opening game at Rose Bowl.
6. Erik Lamela
With 5 goals and 9 assists this premier league season, Erik Lamela convinced Argentina coach Tata Martino to go all praise for the Tottenham winger. The Argentinian winger played an instrumental role in Spur’s third place finish on the premier league table and will push even harder to earn game time in Argentina’s star studded lineup.
7. Wes Morgan
After a dream premier league victory campaign, Leicester City captain Wes Morgan is expected to deliver with same intensity Jamaica in this edition of Copa America. Morgan was included in the national squad just three years ago but his rock solid defensive attributes and inexhaustible energy on the field has helped him to cement his position in the squad.
8. Joel Campbell
Costa Rica is the part of the group of death in this edition of Copa America in USA. With Colombia, Paraguay and United States in Group A, it will take Joe Campbell and Costa Rica to play much above their potential in order to make it to the knock-out stage. The Arsenal forward was not a regular starter for the gunners this season but has enough tricks up his sleeves to disappoint any of the top notch teams in the competition.
9. Salomon Rondon
The 26-year-old Venezuelan forward emerged as West Bromwich Albion’s top scorer in his debut premier league season this year with 9 goals form 34 appearances. With 15 international goals, Rondon is just three goals short of breaking the all-time goal scoring record for Venezuela.
10. Enner Valencia
With 4 goals and 2 assists from 19 premier league appearances, Enner Valencia was not at the top of his form in the recently concluded premier league season, but with 14 international goals to his name, the 26-year-old midfielder is Ecuador’s best chance to make it to the knockout stages.