Menezes hails hosts Argentina

Brazil coach Mano Menezes said the fact that hosts Argentina are considered joint favourites for next month’s Copa America is a fair one.Despite the Brazilians enjoying almost total domination of the tournament in recent years, winning four out of the last five, Menezes believes the quality of the Argentina side and the fact they are hosting the event will make them tough to beat.

“Just as Brazil is the favourite for the World Cup in 2014, if you look at the home advantage – and take into account Argentina’s performances in terms of title wins, in terms of match wins – it is logical that they are planning to do their best,” Menezes said.

“They are going to be one of the favourites.”

Argentina have lost to Brazil in the last two Copa America finals, and will kick off the tournament when they take on Bolivia in the first game on July 1.

Brazil, meanwhile, face Venezuela in their opening match, and defender Thiago Silva believes Uruguay will also be one of the fancies when the tournament begins.

“Brazil is the favourite alongside Argentina,” Silva said.

“I think the other strong team on the list is Uruguay. But we are ready to confront them in any match that could happen.”