Brazil take a squad in transition to Argentina hoping to find form before 2014. Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela stand in their way.

BRAZIL

Winners(x8) 1919,1922,1949,1989,1997,1999,2004,2007

The Coach

Mano Menezes has been a big success in Brazil with Gremio and Corinthians. He is charismatic and promises good football again.

The Star

Although he is still only 19, Neymar has proven he has what it takes to lead the line for the national team. With a move to Real Madrid or Chelsea in the offing the prodigious talent is being groomed to steal the show in 2014.

The Lowdown

Without many stars and a lack of invention Brazil don’t look like the Samba stars of old. Their strongest area is the defence that boosts Dani Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Marcelo while their midfield and forward line are weak. Much lies on Neymar acting above his 19 years and inconsistent players such as Elano, Robinho and Ramires. Brazil are still a threat however and should qualify from this group.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter, ITA) Victor (Gremio,BRA) Jefferson (Botafogo, BRA)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona, ESP) Maicon (Inter, ITA) Andre Santos (Fenerbahce, TUR) Lucio (Inter, ITA) David Luiz (Chelsea, ENG) Adriano (Barcelona, ESP) Thiago Silva (AC Milan, ITA) Luisao (Benfica, POR)

Midfielders: Elano (Santos, BRA) Elias (At Madrid, ESP) Ganso (Santos, BRA) Lucas (Liverpool, ENG) Ramires (Chelsea, ENG) Sandro (Tottenham, ENG) Jadson (Shakthar, UKR)

Strikers: Alexandre Pato (Milan, ITA) Neymar (Santos, BRA) Fred (Fluminense, BRA) Robinho (Milan, ITA)

Odds to win: 2/1 (bet365)

ECUADOR

The Coach

Reinaldo Rueda has coached his home country, Colombia before leading Honduras to the 2010 World Cup against the odds.

The Star

Antonio Valencia returned from a broken ankle  in March and helped Man Utd to their 19th League title. Ecuador now hopes his energy and crossing ability will guide them into the last eight at least.

The Lowdown

With a few talented players Ecuador will aim to get out of the group in second place. Their dangerous forward duo of Felipe Caicedo and Chucho Benitez can cause problems for any team and dynamo wingers Michael Arroyo and Valencia should add to an attacking approach.

The Squad 

Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona, ECU) Marcelo Elizaga (Deportivo Quito,ECU) Alexander Dominguez (Liga de Quito, ECU)

Defenders: Neicer Reasco (Liga de Quito, ECU) Norberto Araujo (Liga de Quito, ECU) Luis Checa (Deportivo Quito, ECU) Walter Ayovi (Monterrey, MEX) Gabriel Achilier (Emelec,ECU) Giovanni Caicedo (Liga de Quito, ECU) Fricson Erazo (El Nacional, ECU) Diego Calderon (Liga de Quito, ECU)

Midfielders:  Oswaldo Minda (Deportivo Quito, ECU) Segundo Castillo (Deportivo Quito, ECU) Cristian Noboa (Rubin Kazan, RUS) Luis Fernando Saritama (Deportivo Quito, ECU) Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, ENG) David Quiroz (Emelec, ECU) Edison Mendez (Emelec, ECU) Michael Arroyo (San Luis, MEX)

Strikers: Jaime Ayovi (Pachuca, MEX) Felipe Caicedo (Levante, ESP) Cristian Benitez (America, MEX) Narciso Mina (Independiente Jose Teran, ECU)

Odds to win: 66/1 (bet365)

PARAGUAY

Winners (x2) 1953, 1979

The Coach

Gerardo Martino is a former Argentine international but  impressed with Paraguay domestic sides Libertad and Cerro before taking the national job in 2007.

The Star

Lucas Barrios was on fire as Borussia Dortmund stormed to the Bundesliga title and should spearhead the Paraguay attack ahead of Nelson Haeodo Valdez, Roque Santa Cruz.

The Lowdown

With talented players especially in forward areas Paraguay are hoping for a shock Copa triumph spurred on by their Quarter Final finish in last years World Cup. Chief playmaker Cristian Riveros has endured a poor season at Sunderland but will be restored to the first eleven where it is hoped he can supply the ammunition for Barrios, Valdez, Santa Cruz and Oscar Cardozo.

The Squad*

Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Valladolid, ESP) Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño,PAR) Joel Silva (Guaraní,PAR) Roberto Fernández (Racing, ARG)

Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Zaragoza, ESP) Marcos Cáceres (Racing, ARG) Antolín Alcaraz (Wigan, ENG) Darío Verón (Pumas, MEX) Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo, ARG) Miguel Samudio (Libertad, PAR) Iván Piris (Cerro Porteño, PAR) Elvis Marecos (Guaraní, PAR) Luis Cardozo (Cerro Porteño, PAR) Ismael Benegas (Rubio Ñú, PAR)

Midfielders: Víctor Cáceres (Libertad, PAR) Cristian Riveros (Sunderland, ENG) Néstor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo, ARG) Jonathan Santana (Kayserispor, TUR) Enrique Vera (Liga de Quito, ECU) Osmar Molinas (Olimpia, PAR) Edgar Barreto (Atalanta, ITA) Hernán Pérez (Villarreal, ESP)

Forwards: Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn, ENG), Osvaldo Martínez (Monterrey, MEX), Orlando Gaona Lugo (Boca Juniors, ARG), Nelson Haedo Valdez (Hércules, ESP), Marcelo Estigarribia (Newell’s Old Boys, ARG), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund, GER), Federico Santander (Toulouse FC, FRA), Pablo Zeballos (Olimpia, PAR), Julián Benítez (Guaraní, PAR)

*Squad will be trimmed from 31 to 23 before the tournament

Odds to win: 18/1 (bet365)

VENEZUELA

The Coach

Aged just 38, Cesar Farias has been a senior coach for under 10 years doing well with domestic teams before taking the national reigns after the last Copa.

The Star

Jose Salomon Rondon was unknown a year ago but after 14 goals for Malaga last campaign the 21-year-old looks destined for a big European club. His pace and power will provide a test for any defence in the tournament.

The Lowdown

Venezuela have talent in their side and have a real chance of escaping this group. With the hard tackling of Tomas Rincon in midfield and the creative talents of playmaker Juan Arango they could spring a surprise as long as they keep it tight at the back and Rondon fires.

The Squad 

Goalkeepers: Dani Hernandez (Murcia, ESP) Leonardo Morales (Dep Anzoategui, VEN)

Defenders: Gabriel Cichero (Caracas, VEN) Juan Fuenmayor (Dep Anzoategui, VEN) Franklin Lucena (Caracas, VEN) Grenndy Perozo (Boyaca Chico, COL) Roberto Rosales (Twente, HOL) Oswaldo Vizcarrondo(Dep Anzoategui,VEN)

Midfielders: Juan Arango (B M’gladbach, GER) Giacomo Di Giorgi (Dep Anzoategui, VEN) Jesus Gomez (Wadi Degla, EGY) Cesar Gonzalez (Gymnasia, ARG) Tomas Rincon (Hamburg, GER) Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe, COL)

Strikers: Angel Chourio (Real Esppor, VEN) Nicolas Fedor (Getafe, ESP) Alejandro Moreno (Chivas, USA) Yohandry Orozco (Wolfsburg, GER) Jose Salomon Rondon (Malaga, ESP) Ronald Vargas (Club Brugge, BEL)

Odds to win: 100/1

 

 

Advertisements