COPA AMERICA 2021: UPDATED FORMAT, GROUPS, FIXTURES, AND THE FAVOURITES TO LIFT THE TROPHY IN BRAZIL

After a few weeks of pandemonium, amidst fears of cancellation, the Copa America heads to who will welcome all the other teams in a jam-packed season of football fiesta. Juggling from Colombia to , the competition has finally found the perfect home in .

The biggest carnival of South American football kicks off when the Selecao entertains Venezuela at the Mane Garrincha Stadium on the 14th of June. 

James Rodriguez’s lead Columbia lock horns with Ecuador as Columbia will look to take revenge for the 6-1 thrashing they received from the Tricolor in November last year.

 

THE FORMAT

This year’s format of South America’s oldest competition is a unique one. All the 10 teams participating in the competition have been divided into two groups of 5 teams each.

 

 

The group stage will witness 20 hard-fought battles as teams would look to showcase themselves on the biggest stage. South America will turn into a battlefield when Copa America begins.

After a hard-fought group stage, 1 team from each group will be shown the exit door as the remaining 8 teams will proceed to the knockout phase.

 

 

The business end of the tournament will begin from 2nd July when the leaders of Group A lock horns with the 4th placed team in Group B and the Group-A runners-up face the bronze medalists of Group B.  The semifinals will take place on 5th and 6th July.

 Eventually, it will all boil down to the final 90 minutes when the competition’s two best teams cross swords at the Maracana stadium in Rio on 10 July to decide who lifts the prestigious piece of South American silverware.

 

THE BATTLE OF THE GROUPS

Friends turned foes Messi and Suarez are placed in the same group along with , Bolivia and Paraguay in the updated groups which were released earlier today.

With Messi about to hang his boots sooner or later, this could be his last bite at the cherry. The most successful Copa America team once again boasts of a prolific squad. And after faltering at the last stage twice, Lionel Messi and Argentina would look to turn the tables this summer.

 

 

Argentina begins their campaign against Chile, a team that has denied them silverware on two occasions.

La Albiceleste’s biggest challenge would be to sneak out of a tricky group with the Uruguayan duo of Suarez and Cavani looking to capture a trophy after ages. 

The winners of the 100th edition of the Copa America, Chile also find themselves in Group A and though they might face a few hiccups, making it to the knockout parts won’t be a huge concern for Martín Lasarte’s red army. 

Paraguay plays Bolivia in their first fixture as the road is tough for both the teams who would be up against some footballing greats. With all three Argentina, , and Chile looking like front runners to win the title, only one of Paraguay and Bolivia would get the ticket to the knockout phases.

Predicting the winner of Group B is a cakewalk with holders Brazil looking like the overwhelming favourites. A team full of talismanic strikers, majestic midfielders, and towering defenders, Tite’s troops could lift the trophy for the second time in a row. Though Ecuador and Columbia could present a few hurdles in front of the team in yellow.

 

 

A fairytale story could be on the cards as Ecuador look to replicate their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers form in Copa America. And the game against Columbia could lead to some heated battles.

Venezuela and Peru would look to shine in the eyes of the world and spoil someone’s party at this year’s Copa America. As of now Brazil and Argentina look like favourites to win the tournament but a mouth-watering surprise could easily await us.

 

FIXTURES LIST

GROUP-A 

  • ARGENTINA VS CHILE – 14TH JUNE 2021
  • PARAGUAY VS BOLIVIA – 14TH JUNE 2021
  • CHILE VS BOLIVIA – 18TH JUNE 2021
  • ARGENTINA VS URUGUAY- 18TH JUNE 2021
  • URUGUAY VS CHILE – 21TH JUNE 2021
  • ARGENTINA VS PARAGUAY- 21TH JUNE 2021
  • BOLIVIA VS URUGUAY – 24TH JUNE 2021
  • CHILE VS PARAGUAY – 24TH JUNE 2021
  • URUGUAY VS PARAGUAY – 28TH JUNE 2021
  • BOLIVIA VS ARGENTINA – 28TH JUNE 2021

GROUP B

  • BRAZIL VS VENEZUELA – 13TH JUNE 2021 
  • COLOMBIA VS ECUADOR – 13TH JUNE 2021 
  • COLOMBIA VS VENEZUELA – 17TH JUNE 2021 
  • BRAZIL VS PERU – 17TH JUNE 2021
  • VENEZUELA VS ECUADOR – 20TH JUNE 2021
  • COLOMBIA VS PERU – 20TH JUNE 2021
  • BRAZIL VS COLOMBIA – 23RD JUNE 2021
  • ECUADOR VS PERU – 23RD JUNE 2021
  • BRAZIL VS ECUADOR – 27TH JUNE 2021
  • VENEZUELA VS PERU – 27TH JUNE 2021

KNOCKOUTS

  • QF 1:GROUP B WINNER VS GROUP A 4TH PLACE- 02 JULY 2021
  • QF 2: GROUP B RUNNER-UP VS GROUP A 3RD PLACE – 02 JULY 2021
  • QF 3: GROUP A WINNER VS GROUP B 4TH PLACE – 03 JULY 2021
  • QF 4: GROUP A RUNNER-UP VS GROUP B 3RD PLACE – 03 JULY 2021
  • SF 1: QF 1 WINNER VS QF 2 WINNER – 05 JULY 2021
  • SF 2: QF 3 WINNER VS QF 4 WINNER – 06 JULY 2021
  • THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF – SF 1 LOSER VS SF 2 LOSER – 09 JULY 2021
  • FINAL – SF 1 WINNER VS SF 2 WINNER – 10 JULY 2021
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