Tuesday 18 June: Midnight KO
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Chile are bidding to win the Copa America tournament for the third time in a row. They have been a tad inconsistent in recent months with only two wins from their last five games. Their title defence begins with a game against Japan who are one of the two invited teams.
Chile have won the last two Copa America tournaments with victories in 2015 and 2016. On both occasions they defeated Argentina in the final. Not the most thriling finals as both ended goalless before Chile won a penalty shoot-out. You can get odds of 14/1 (15.0) at Ladbrokes on Chile making it a hat-trick of wins.
They may have won two Copa America tournaments but Chile failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals. Chile finished sixth in the South American qualifying group losing three of their final four games. That early exit meant they spent the rest of the year playing friendly matches.
Chile continued to be inconsistent with only four wins in ten friendlies. Their games against European countries produced wins in Sweden and Serbia with draws in Denmark and Poland. Other victories came against Mexico and Honduras.
2019 has continued to see them in inconsistent form. They lost to Mexico, drew against the USA but returned to winning ways in June with a 2-1 win over Haiti. That was a nervous friendly against the country ranked 85 places below them. Chile went 1-0 down in the first half before two second-half goals got them the win.
The odds on them beating Japan in this opening group game are 4/9 (1.44) at BetVictor. It’s a key game for Chile who also have to face Uruguay and Ecuador. Three points from this game will give them a good chance of at least being one of the best third-placed teams. It’s 17/10 (2.7) at Betfair that Chile win Group C.
Japan are one of the two invited teams in this Copa America tournament. They are ranked 28th in the world, that’s 12 places below their opponents. This is only their second Copa America performance, the other being in 1999 when losing in the group stages. They received two further invitations but declined due to player and scheduling problems.
This time around they have been able to accept their invitation but are 100/1 (101.0) at Paddy Power to win the tournament. Japan qualified for the 2018 World Cup reaching the last 16. They so nearly reached the quarter-finals having led Belgium 2-0 before losing 3-2.
Japan then went on an 11-game unbeaten run. They reached the final of the AFC Asian Cup losing to Qatar (also invited to play in this tournament) 3-1 after winning six straight games. They lost their next game too going down 1-0 to Colombia in March of this year.
Since then they have gone three games without defeat and without conceding a goal. They beat Bolivia 1-0, had a goalless draw with Trinidad & Tobago but won their final warm-up game 2-0 against El Salvador.
The two countries have only met twice in the past. The first meeting was in 2008 with a draw in the Kirin Cup. A year later, Japan beat Chile 4-0 and the odds of a Japanese win to nil in this game is 12/1 (13.0) at SkyBet.
There are no reports of injuries or suspensions.
Second Half Goal Feast?
A look at the stats indicates that the second half of this game is likely to be that with the most goals. Seven of the last 11 Chile games has seen that happen and in four of the last seven Japan matches. You can get odds of 11/10 (2.1) at Bet365 on the second half seeing the most goals scored.
Chile have an ageing side but look to have the edge in this game. Japan did well in the Asia Cup but failing to beat Trinidad & Tobago isn’t a good sign. A bet on Chile to win and over 2.5 goals in the match has odds of 6/4 (2.5) if placed with Betway.