Our prediction for this Copa America match:
Colombia and Ecuador go head to head at Arena Pantanal in what is expected to be an entertaining Copa America game. Los Cafeteros aim to kick off their 2021 Copa America campaign in style, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the nominal hosts. Since star players James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao miss the tournament, we do not believe that home win should be considered.
El Tri, on the other hand, aim to make amends for back-to-back defeats to Brazil and Peru, and they should take advantage of the absentees in the home team. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards at Arena Pantanal, and we believe that punters can find value in betting on draw. The good news for the nominal visitors is that key attacker Enner Valencia returns to contention after missing the World Cup qualifier against Peru through suspension.
Highlighted Player (James Rodriguez):
James Rodriguez is an attacking midfielder who plays for Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Colombian superstar played for the likes of Envigado and Banfield at the start of his career and he moved to Europe in 2010, joining Portuguese side Porto for a fee of €5.1 million.
James scored 25 goals in 63 league appearances with the Dragons and in 2013 he joined Monaco. His transfer to the Ligue 1 side was the second most expensive in the history of Portuguese Primeira Liga (€45 million) and he signed a five-year contract with les Rouges et Blancs. The Colombian ace impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and, as a result, Real Madrid chiefs signed him on 22 July, 2014 for an undisclosed fee.
However, reports in Spain suggested that the fee was approximately €80 million. Rodriguez scored 13 goals in 29 league appearances for Real Madrid in the 2014/2015 Primera Division campaign and he was in Gareth Bale’s shadow in the 2015/2016 season. James is well known for his technical skills, his vision and the ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Highlighted Team (Ecuador):
Ecuador had endured difficult times in footballing terms having been considered to be one of the more struggling football nations in South America, but the Tri have managed to transform themselves into a team that can never be taken lightly at the international scene.
Ecuador has taken part in three of the 22 World Cups with 12 position they achieved in 2006 in Germany being their best result so far. La Tricolor head into Copa America Centenario tied at the top of CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying table and their chances of making it through from group B have been increased with good results and alike performances.
Ivan Hurtado played for El Tri since 1992 to 2014 and former centre-back remains the most capped international with 168 games to his name. Ecuador captain Walter Ayovi is the active player with most games in the national team, while Felipe Caicedo with 19 goals is the top scorer of Gustavo Quinteros’ side.