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Argentina to suffer Venezuela shock at Copa America?

The ESPN FC crew look ahead to Argentina's matchup with Venezuela and question if Messi and company can leave their group stage struggles behind them.

A marginal profit for the column last time out after we correctly predicted Uruguay would see off Chile. The 2019 Copa America has now reached the quarterfinal stages and we've got all the best betting angles covered this weekend.

Running total: -£41.22

The Banker

Argentina have been priced up as 4/7 favourites to beat Venezuela on Friday evening despite the Albiceleste struggling in the group phase. Lionel Scaloni's men opened up with a 2-0 loss to Colombia and after drawing with Paraguay they were on the brink of an embarrassing exit. However a nervy 2-0 win over Qatar was enough to propel Argentina from bottom of Group B to second and into the last eight.

Scaloni has started no less than 16 players across Argentina's three group games and still doesn't seem to know his strongest team. There have been calls for Paulo Dybala to start as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have yet to really shine in attack.

Venezuela in contrast are unbeaten and have looked impressive, especially at the back after keeping two clean sheets in three matches. Unlike their more illustrious opponents, they are a side who are not blessed with a lot of superstars. Newcastle fans will know all about Salomon Rondon, who has worked tirelessly for them up top. Roberto Rosales and skipper Tomas Rincon have also been outstanding so far for the Vino Tinto.

Venezuela enjoyed a 3-1 win when they faced Argentina in a friendly as recently as March and are a tempting price at 5/1 to get the win again. However we'll settle for 7/5 for Venezuela to avoid defeat in 90 minutes.

Selection: £5 on Venezuela to draw at 7/5 with bet365.

The First Goal Flutter

Brazil's Everton Soares looks a serious player and he shone against Peru last time out. Just 23, the youngster was excellent for Gremio last season and could be snapped up by one of Europe's leading clubs if he keeps up this level of performance. With two goals already the player they call 'Little Onion' could reduce Paraguay fans to tears by scoring first on Friday.

Selection: £2 on Everton to score first at 4/1 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

Brazil have yet to concede a goal at Copa America 2019 and are hot favourites to beat Paraguay. Statistically the Selecao have been the most dominant team at the tournament so far. They have averaged 64.9% possession in matches -- 11% more than any other team. They have had the most shots -- 19.3 per game, and they have scored the most goals. With this in mind 4/6 about them winning to nil against Paraguay looks good.

Colombia were the only team to win all three of their group matches and in keeping three clean sheets in the process they look rightful 6/5 favourites to beat an ageing Chile side in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Finally we also fancy Uruguay to beat Peru. Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani have both been among the goals so far for La Celeste, who have a record 15 Copa America titles to their name. Peru were hammered 5-0 by Brazil last time out so their confidence could be fragile but we fancy them to at least score here. With this in mind 7/2 about a Uruguay win with both teams finding the net looks the way to go. The Brazil/Colombia/Uruguay treble is paying over 15/1 with bet365.

Selection: £3 on the treble at 15.5/1 with bet365.

The Wildcard

There's a host of players on two goals in the tournament and one of those is Colombia's Duvan Zapata. Deceptively quick for a big guy, Zapata is also a real handful in the air and came to the Copa having enjoyed a fine season in Serie A for Atalanta. He's an 8/1 poke to score two or more against Chile in São Paulo and that could be worth a small interest given how well Colombia have played so far.

Selection: £1 on Zapata to score 2+ goals at 8/1 with bet365.

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