Copa America Group A: Mexico need to beat Ecuador to qualify


As Group A of the Copa America reaches its final set of fixtures, tournament hosts Chile and Bolivia sit on top with four points apiece, and now clash. A second-string Mexico, meanwhile, are still in contention of reaching the quarters as they face Ecuador.

Mexico v Ecuador
El Tri have done considerably well this tournament to remain undefeated, given that they are without all their top stars due to Miguel Herrera’s preference to concentrate more on the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Mexico (11/8 for victory) will also likely be without legendary defensive player Rafael Marquez for the remainder of the competition, after being injured in the goalless group opener against Bolivia. Herrera’s men managed without him in their next encounter with Chile, certainly in attack, though, as they produced a thrilling 3-3 result.

Former Manchester City-owned striker Vicente Vuoso bagged a brace in that match, and the Argentine-born player is a tempting 7/1 chance to do so again, and 5/4 just to net anytime.

Atletico Madrid’s Raul Jimenez also got on the scoresheet, and is the subject of a Coral matchday special (max stake £20), with odds of 4/1 for him to be on target and Mexico win.

Ecuador (15/8 for victory), meanwhile, can only now hope to qualify by being one of the two third-placed teams to make the quarters.

They will need to rely on key man Enner Valencia of West Ham United to keep them in the competition. He netted against Bolivia last time out, and is a 7/4 shout in the anytime market.

Interestingly, in the three competitive meetings between Mexico and Valencia this century (two at Copa Americas and one at a World Cup), the former have won 2-1 in all them. Therefore, take enticing odds of 9/1 for the Aztecs to triumph by that scoreline once more.

Chile v Bolivia
All the talk leading up to this fixture was an unfortunate car crash in which Chilean star Arturo Vidal was involved, but it is unlikely that the Copa America hosts are to suffer a similar mess this tournament.

Luckily Vidal came away from it virtually unscathed and remains eligible for selection, so he will be hoping to put that incident behind him and carry on where he left off on the field.

The Juventus star has three goals for the tournament so far, so is a great 9/2 shout to net first. His teammates Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas, meanwhile, are respective even-money and 6/5 chances in the anytime market.

A draw at 4/1 is likely to be enough for both Chile (3/10 to win) and Bolivia (9/1) to progress to the quarters, but the latter will be hoping former Wigan Athletic loanee Marcelo Moreno can fire them to top spot. Moreno was on target against Ecuador, and is 11/4 to score anytime again.

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