Copa América 2011 – How the teams line up – Group C

Following the previous article that previewed Group B, this one takes a closer look at the third and final group at the 2011 Copa América, Group C.

Group C will see fourteen-time Copa América Champions Uruguay face off against Mexico, Chile and Peru.  This group promises to very closely-contested given the quality of the teams in Group C.

The teams

Uruguay

World Ranking:  7

Star player:  Edison Cavani

Following Uruguay’s resurgence as a superpower in world football at last summer’s World Cup in South Africa, they will want to build on their fourth place finish there and find themselves competing with South America’s other big guns for the 2011 Copa América.  In Edinson Cavani they have a striker who has had an outstanding season for Napoli and he is likely to be paired with the 2010 FIFA World Cup Player of the Tournament Diego Forlan.  Uruguay boasts an impressive squad and they seem to have gotten the balance between experienced players and younger players coming through just about right.  As in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Uruguay will probably fight it out with Chile and Mexico for top spot in Group C.

Mexico

World Ranking:  23

Star player:  Javier Hernandez

As the second invitee team, Mexico is a top quality addition to the 2011 Copa América.  They advanced to the second round at the 2010 World Cup where they were eliminated by a combination of poor refereeing and an inspired Argentina.  Mexico boasts an impressive squad and a good record in previous Copa América tournaments where they have advanced to the quarterfinals at least on each of their previous seven appearances (five semi-finals).  Then Manchester United-bound Javier Hernandez showed glimpses of his talent at the 2010 World Cup and has proven to have been a shrewd buy by Sir Alex Ferguson.  As mentioned, Mexico will probably find themselves locked in battle with Uruguay and Chile for the top spot in Group C.

Chile

World Ranking:  14

Star player:  Arturo Vidal

Chile qualified for the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and were eliminated by Brazil.  They boast a very talented group of young players and play exciting attacking football.  In Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez, Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla they have top quality players, some of which have been linked with possible moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs in recent months.  Chile definitely brings some exciting players and football to the Copa América 2011 and they may be the surprise package of the tournament.

Peru

World Ranking:  54

Star player:  Juan Manuel Vargas

Despite Peru’s dramatic climb up the world rankings over the past two years, they find themselves in an extremely tough group with quality opposition.  As a result they may find the going too tough against these teams and, although they will be competitive and give their best, they will probably end last in Group C and be eliminated from the tournament.

The fixtures

Uruguay vs. Peru – 4 July 2011, Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan

Chile vs. Mexico – 4 July 2011, Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan

Peru vs. Mexico – 8 July 2011, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza

Uruguay vs. Chile – 8 July 2011, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza

Chile vs. Peru – 12 July 2011, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza

Uruguay vs. Mexico – 12 July 2011, Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata

Group C of the 2011 Copa América will probably be the closest contested group of the tournament and it is difficult to separate Uruguay, Chile and Mexico.  Depending on results and standings in the other groups, all three of these teams may find themselves qualifying for the quarterfinal stage.

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