Hosts Brazil get the 2019 Copa America underway when they face Bolivia at Sao Paulo's Estadio do Morumbi in Group A.
Estadio do Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Key Stat: Brazil are unbeaten since exiting last year's World Cup, winning nine of the ten matches they have played since.
Expert Verdict: Brazil start their bid for a first Copa America title since 2007 when they take on Bolivia in their opening game. The hosts go into the tournament as favourites and, facing a Bolivia team who have won just one of their last 16 matches, they can make a statement of intent with a big win.
With Neymar ruled out of the tournament through injury, Brazil have called Willian up and are likely to start with Gabriel Jesus leading the line. Other selection decisions still to be made include Fernandinho or Casemiro in holding midfield. Despite his importance at club level, Fernandinho tends to be overlooked for Brazil and it could be Casemiro who starts.
Gabriel Jesus – Will lead the line in Neymar’s absence and geared up for the tournament by scoring twice in the friendly win against Honduras – his 15th and 16th international goals, on his 29th appearance.
Philippe Coutinho – Only Jesus has scored more for Brazil in the current squad, while the Barcelona playmaker was key to the Selecao’s attacking play at the World Cup last summer too.
David Neres – Propelled into the spotlight, and the Brazil team, after an excellent season in a superb Ajax team.
After being surprisingly held by Panama in March, Brazil have won their three most recent friendlies. The draw with Panama is the only game they have not win since the World Cup. Gabriel Jesus scored twice in a 3-1 win in the Czech Republic, after Roberto Firmino cancelled out the hosts’ opener. Against Qatar next up, Richarlison and Jesus scored in a 2-0 win. And Brazil saved their best until last – Jesus scoring two more, alongside goals from Thiago Silva, Philippe Coutinho, David Neres, Firmino and Richarlison in a 7-0 thrashing of Honduras.
Defenders:Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis
Defensive Midfielders:Arthur, Casemiro
Attacking Midfielders:Richarlison, Philippe Coutinho, David Neres
Jose Maria Carrasco made his international debut as a late substitute against France, but Bolivia go into the tournament with two uncapped players in their squad – Javier Rojas and Paul Arano. None of the three are likely to start against Brazil, however, with the starting line-up against France probably an indication of how Bolivia will line-up in this match.
Marcelo Martins – The most-capped player in the current squad, one of the few not to play domestically in Bolivia and the top scorer with 17 goals from 73 appearances.
Alejandro Chumacero – The Puebla winger has won 41 caps in midfield and could lead the counter-attacking charge.
Carlos Lampe – Kept a clean sheet when these teams last met, pulling off a string of saves in a goalless draw.
After losing 1-0 to both South Korea and Japan in March, Bolivia go into the Copa America on the back of a three-game losing streak – losing last time out to France, 2-0. They have not since a 3-0 win in Myanmar in October – a run of seven games without success in total.
Defenders:Diego Bejarano, Luis Haquin, Adrian Jusino, Marvin Bejarano
Defensive Midfielders:Alejandro Chumacero, Leonel Justiniano, Samuel Galindo, Erwin Saavedra
Attacking Midfielders:Raul Castro
Brazil have won 20 of their 29 previous matches against Bolivia, with four draws and five defeats. The most recent meeting was one of those four draws, however – Bolivia standing firm despite Brazil dominating in a goalless draw. That was during World Cup qualifying, and Brazil had already beaten them 5-0 in the reverse fixture – Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Filipe Luis, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino all scoring.
Brazil suffered a big blow when Neymar was ruled out of their home Copa America due to an injury picked up in one of their final warm-up matches.
But the hosts still boast a squad worthy of being tagged favourites for the tournament, and a big win against Bolivia in their first match would send out a statement.
They warmed up for the tournament with a 7-0 win against Honduras – Gabriel Jesus scoring twice, taking his tally to five in three matches as he prepares to lead the Brazilian line in this World Cup.
Bolivia, on the other hand, have not won for seven matches and have failed to score in their last three games too.
The 2-0 defeat to world champions France was no disgrace, and they drew 0-0 with Brazil last time they faced them too.
But Brazil will expect a comfortable win against the Bolivians this time out – they won 5-0 the last time they played them at home.
Bolivia have improved defensively since then, but do not offer enough going forward for them to even consider the probability of causing an upset in this opening game.
Brazil are favourites for the tournament and comfortable favourites to start their campaign with a win. If Jesus maintains his goalscoring form, it should be a professional performance and victory.
Brazil are big odds-on favourites to start the tournament with victory against Bolivia – you can back them at a best price of 1/10 with 888sport.
Bolivia have failed to even score in their last three matches and a Brazil win to nil is worth backing at a best price of 4/11 with Bet365.
Betting against both teams to score returns 2/7 with Bet365 and Betfair, but you can still get 4/7 on there being over 2.5 goals with Bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power, Betway and 888sport.
Gabriel Jesus has been in good goalscoring form and he is 4/6 to score at any time, as is Richarlison.
Brazil will want to make an impact at the start of this tournament and, with Bolivia short of form – and even goals in their last few matches – the hosts should claim a comfortable win.