Jamaica are all set to lock heads against Venezuela in the Copa America Centenario Group C clash at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Both the teams are considered to be the underdogs in Group C with minimal chances of progressing to the quarter-finals, as the group also includes the likes of Mexico – a de facto home team and the star studded Uruguay.
The performance of both the teams in last 10 matches in all competitions suggests that they need to lift up their game and need to come up with all that they have in their arsenal, to pull up a shocker and advance to the knock out stage.
Jamaica have won 4 matches out of their last 10 in all completions and their Sunday’s opponent managed to win only once out of the same number of fixtures.
The Jamaican side will be looking forward to recreate their successful run to the finals of last year’s Gold Cup and Venezuela will be aiming at the knock-out stage, which they have managed to reach twice in the past.
Looking back into history, Venezuela have had very little international success and have never even managed to qualify for the World Cup. However this time around, the squad includes players who can lift up the game and help their side to clinch a victory in Sunday’s match against Jamaica.
They have Jose Salomon Rondon, the West Bromwich Albion forward who has nine goals to his name in EPL last season and also the Malaga midfielder Juanmi who can turn the tables in favour of Venezuela in Sunday’s group stage encounter.
Jamaica would look to change things this time around as they were unable to score a goal in 3 matches during their last Copa America campaign. They came back strong and brushed off all the criticism with a solid performance in CONCACAF’s Gold Cup tournament. They topped the group which also included Costa Rica and also outplayed USA in the semi-finals before failing in the final against Mexico.
The number of goals scored in their last international games is still a big concern for their coach. The Reggae boys reached the finals of last year’s Gold Cup but managed to score just 8 goals in 6 matches. Most recently they have scored just 4 goals in 6 matches which also include a rough start in the World Cup qualifiers with Costa Rica and Panama ahead of Winfried Schafer’s team in Group B.
With Wes Morgan to take care of things at the back, the Jamaican side will bank on Houston Dynamo striker Giles Barnes to deliver up front in the thrilling group stage clash against Venezuela.
Probable Squad: Blake; Taylor, Morgan, Mariappa, Lawrence; Watson, Austin, McAnuff, Dawkins; Barnes, Orgill
Probable Squad: Hernandez; Velazquez, Vizcarrondo, Rosales, Gonzalez; Guerra, Seijas, Otero; Rincon, Rondón; Martinez