One of the more exciting groups in the 2015 Copa America kicks off tomorrow, as tournament favorites Argentina battle Paraguay while defending champions Uruguay take on Jamaica.
It’s expected that Argentina and Uruguay will walk through Group B into the knockout rounds, but Paraguay stunned everyone in 2011 when they rallied all the way to the finals, where they eventually fell to a Uruguayan side led by Luis Suarez.
The Reggae Boyz from Jamaica were invited to represent CONCACAF in the tournament, and the Caribbean side will look to build on this experience for the upcoming Gold Cup in July.
Uruguay vs. Jamaica (3 p.m. ET)
Holders Uruguay will look to defend the Copa America title in Chile this year, but must do so without star striker Luis Suarez, who is still serving a ban from his biting incident with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup. Without Suarez, the pressure will be on Edinson Cavani to lead the way for the Uruguayan attack. Cavani finished the season in great form for Paris Saint-Germain, and with rumors he could be looking for a transfer, a good showing in Chile would help his already high-stock rise even more.
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Jamaica joins Mexico as the two CONCACAF teams playing in the tournament, and both sides have admitted that they have their sights set on the Gold Cup, which is less than a month away. Not many people expect the Reggae Boyz to do much in Chile, but they are riding a five-match win streak, albeit against rather weak opposition. The side is led by Wes Morgan, who serves as captain of the Premier League’s Leicester City, and he will surely have his hands full against Uruguay.
Argentina vs. Paraguay (5:30 p.m. ET)
Lionel Messi & Co. are the bookies favorites to lift the Copa America trophy this summer, something that has eluded Messi in his illustrious career. Despite winning pretty much every trophy imaginable with Barcelona, Messi has yet to win a major title with Argentina.
This Argentine side is completely stacked, with Messi leading the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain. The World Cup runners-up are a matchup nightmare for any opposition, with speed and skill at every position on the pitch. Gerardo Matino’s side will want to get off to a quick start against Paraguay, so look for goals early and often from La Albiceleste.