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Copa America 2019: Odds, TV Schedule, Live Stream for Saturday Fixtures

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA - JUNE 07: Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on before a friendly match between Argentina and Nicaragua at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario on June 07, 2019 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)
Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Argentina are favoured to start their 2019 Copa America campaign in winning fashion when they face a tough Colombia side in Group B on Saturday.

La Albiceleste are loaded in attacking areas thanks to Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria. Colombia aren't lacking for firepower, though, with Radamel Falcao ably supported by Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez.

The day will begin with Venezuela facing Peru in the second match of Group A. Both sides are looking to keep pace with hosts Brazil, who started the tournament with a 3-0 win over Bolivia thanks to a Philippe Coutinho brace and a goal from Everton.

              

Saturday Schedule

Venezuela vs. Peru

Date: Saturday, June 15

Time: 4 p.m. local time, 8 p.m BST/3 p.m. ET

TV Info: Premier Sports (UK)

Live Stream: Premier PlayerESPN+ (U.S.)

Prediction: Venezuela 0-2 Peru

           

Argentina vs. Bolivia

Date: Saturday, June 15

Time: 7 p.m. local time, 11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ET

TV Info: Premier Sports (UK)

Live Stream: Premier PlayerESPN+, (U.S.)

Prediction: Argentina 2-1 Colombia

             

Odds

Venezuela: 12-5

Peru: 31-20

Draw: 11-5

            

Argentina: 6-5

Colombia: 73-25

Draw: 9-4

Per Oddschecker.

               

Argentina and Peru to Make Winning Starts

Messi and Co. find themselves under pressure before their tournament has begun thanks to "typically chaotic" preparations, according to Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.

Wilson noted how the country has attempted to refresh the international setup since losing 4-3 to France in the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. However, technical director Cesar Luis Menotti's suggestion the squad be made up of players from Argentina's domestic league "has been largely ignored."

It's a wise policy considering the quality of the nation's biggest stars playing in Europe. Messi remains Barcelona's talisman, while Di Maria has the flair and vision to unlock any defence.

Goal @goal

Who remembers Lionel Messi's first official Barcelona goal? 💙❤ https://t.co/7buh3QDQHw

The creative burden won't rest solely on Di Maria's shoulders if Real Betis schemer Giovani Lo Celso maintains his excellent form.

There were signs of a rapport with Messi during the 5-1 win over Nicaragua on June 7:

Roy Nemer @RoyNemer

Lionel Messi with two goals for Argentina as they lead 2-0 against Nicaragua. But he and Lo Celso are connecting really well in midfield. I can't remember the last time Messi had a team mate in midfield who was on the same wavelength. Riquelme, possibly Aimar?

Like Messi, Aguero has remained prolific, helping Manchester City to another Premier League title this season.

The gifted striker wants to finally bring an international prize to his illustrious team-mate:

The Sportsman @TheSportsman

🇦🇷 🏆 Sergio Aguero... "I'm more anxious to be a champion for Messi than for me. Hopefully one day it happens - It's his dream and everyone's dream. I put myself in his place and I want to try to do my best for him to lift the #CopaAmerica." https://t.co/A9CyNAUcRi

Colombia are capable of ruining Aguero's plans, but much will depend on how well Falcao leads the line. The 33-year-old still knows where the net is, but the explosive pace and power he once used to overwhelm defenders have diminished in recent years.

Instead, manager Carlos Queiroz will need Rodriguez to be at his best. The mercurial No. 10 can make the difference in the final third against any team in the tournament.

Fortunately for Los Cafeteros, he's entering this competition in fine fettle after reviving his career during a fruitful two-year loan spell with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

James Rodriguez: Across 43 appearances in two Bundesliga seasons at Bayern Rodriguez had a direct hand in a goal every 99 minutes on average (14 goals, 14 assists) https://t.co/VhSVR6oJWa

While Rodriguez will help Colombia keep things close, Messi and Aguero will see Argentina over the line.

In Group A, Peru's celebrated veterans up front will have too much quality for Venezuela. Paolo Guerrero, the 35-year-old talisman, will lead the line and receive ample support from Jefferson Farfan, 34.

They can both expect to be regularly supplied with chances thanks to the presence of midfield maestro Christian Cueva and winger Raul Ruidiaz. Manager Ricardo Gareca is a bold tactician who will let his attacking talents flourish.

Farfan is ready to resume his role as one of Peru's biggest threats up top.
Farfan is ready to resume his role as one of Peru's biggest threats up top.EVARISTO SA/Getty Images

Peru's proactive approach is bad news for a Venezuela side likely to be overly reliant on powerhouse forward Salomon Rondon for inspiration. He will find carrying the load by himself too much to bear.

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