Chile

FIFA World Rank: 19

Chile not only play at home, they also got the easiest group. Jorge Sampaoli has worked with the same set of players since he became the coach of Chile, he knows what his best line-up is and he will stick to it. While La Roja will not find it too difficult to top their group, expectations are very high from fans. After Brazil crumbled to a 7-1 defeat to Germany at home last year, the fan backlash was probably more traumatic than the defeat to the players. Sampaoli has been careful and has conducted hush-hush training sessions while preparing for the tournament.   

Expectation: As they are playing at home, the minimum expectation would be to reach the final. With the quality in their starting line-up, this is certainly possible.

Strength: Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Claudio Bravo form the spine of this team. If they perform here as they did for their new clubs this season, Chile will be unstoppable.

Weakness: Vidal played the full 90 minutes in last week’s UEFA Champions League final, he may not be at his 100% for this tournament. Also, having the shortest squad, height wise, when average in the tournament, means they will be vulnerable in set-piece situations.

Players to watch: Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal

Copa America record: Winners – 0, Runners-up – 4

Copa America 2011 finish: Quarterfinals

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (c), Paulo Garces, Johnny Herrera

Defenders: Miiko Albornoz, Mauricio Isla, Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel, Eugenio Mena, Jose Rojas

Midfielders: Charles Aranguiz, Jean Beausejour, Carlos Carmona, Marcelo Diaz, Matias Fernandez, Felipe Gutierrez, Arturo Vidal, David Pizarro, Jorge Valdivia

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas, Angelo Henriquez, Mauricio Pinilla, Edson Puch

Mexico

FIFA World Rank: 23

Mexico is a permanent invitee in this tournament, but they are not here to win it, as they have saved their best players for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. Notable absentees are Chicharito Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes and the dos Santos brothers. This clearly underlines what Miguel Herrera, the Mexico Coach is aiming for.

Expectation: If veterans Rafael Marquez and Jesus Corona provide direction and leadership to their young compatriots, Mexico might just make it out of the group stages.

Strength: This squad has nothing to lose even if they do lose, so they will play without pressure, the perfect ingredient for entertaining football

Weakness: Raul Jimenez had a terrible season playing for Atletico Madrid, and there is no other reputed striker in the Mexico squad. They might struggle to find the back of the net.

Players to watch: Jesus Corona, Javier Aquino

Copa America record: Winners – 0, Runners-up – 2

Copa America 2011 finish: Group Stage

Coach: Miguel Herrera

Goalkeepers: Jose Corona, Alfredo Talavera, Meliton Hernandez

Defenders: George Corral, Gerardo Flores, Rafael Marquez, Hugo Ayala, Julio Dominguez, Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Angel Herrera, Adrian Aldrete, Efrain Velarde

Midfielders: Mario Osuna, Juan Carlos Medina, Javier Guemez, Jesus Manuel Corona, Javier Aquino, Luis Montes, Marco Fabian

Ecuador

FIFA World Rank: 31

Antonio Valencia and Felipe Caicedo miss out on this year’s Copa America, which is a double blow to Ecuador. Also, both Jefferson Montero and Enner Valencia had inconsistent debut seasons in the English Premier league. But Miller Bolanos, who had a fine season with Emelec, can be relied on when goals are needed.

Expectation: They are the 2nd-best team in their group and they should finish second, as long as the goals keep coming.

Strength: The attacking trio of Montero, Valencia and Bolanos will cause all sorts of trouble to their opponents. They are fast, strong, agile, and with a bag full of tricks up their sleeves.

Weakness: Again the attacking trio, Bolanos is inexperienced in big tournaments, Montero and Valencia are not in their top form.

Players to watch: Miller Bolanos, Jefferson Montero

Copa America record: Winners – 0, Runners-up – 0

Copa America 2011 finish: Group Stage

Coach: Gustavo Quinteros

Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez, Esteban Dreer, Librado Azcona

Defenders: Juan Carlos Paredes, Frickson Erazo, Gabriel Achilier, Oscar Bagui, Jhon Narvaez, Walter Ayovi, Arturo Mina, Mario Pineida

Midfielders: Christian Noboa, Renato Ibarra, Osbaldo Lastra, Fidel Martinez, Jonathan Gonzalez, Michael Arroyo, Juan Cazares, Pedro Quinonez

Forwards: Enner Valencia, Jaime Ayovi, Jefferson Montero, Miller Bolanos 

Bolivia

FIFA World Rank: 89

Despite having a reputation for causing major upsets when they play at home, Bolivia’s away record is poor. Last time they reached the final of a Copa America, was in 1997, which was held at Bolivia. Coach Mauricio Soria was a part of that squad as a goalkeeper. After taking charge in March this year, he said, “You have to attack if you want to win, we will see.”

Expectation: They can beat this Mexico team, so they should get those 3 points to qualify as one of the two best 2nd-placed teams.

Strength: Marcelo Martins Moreno, their top player, comes into this tournament with form as well as experience, having played for Shakhtar Donetsk, Werder Bremen and Wigan Athletic in the past.

Weakness: With a poor way record, they are yet to win outside of Bolivia since 1993. Although held in a neutral venue, the size of the opponent crowd will not help.

Players to watch: Marcelo Martins Moreno, Daniel Bejaramo

Copa America record: Winners – 1, Runners-up – 1

Copa America 2011 finish: Group Stage

Coach: Mauricio Soria

Goalkeepers: Jose Penarrieta, Romel Quinonez, Hugo Suarez

Defenders: Marvin Bejarano, Cristian Coimbra, Ronald Eguino, Miguel Hurtado, Leonel Morales, Ronald Raldes, Edemir Rodriguez, Edward Zenteno

Midfielders: Danny Bejarano, Jhasmani Campos, Alejandro Chumacero, Pablo Escobar, Sebastian Gamarra, Damian Lizio, Damir Miranda, Martin Smedberg, Walter Veizaga

Forwards: Marcelo Martins Moreno, Ricardo Pedriel, Alcides Pena