Manager: Gustavo Quinteros
Group: A (with Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica)
Copa America title betting odds: 125/1
Qualifying for quarter-finals odds: 7/5
Group winner odds: 20/1
Finishing in the top two in group odds: 7/2
Copa America 2007 performance: Group stage
Best Copa America performance: Winner (1963)
How are they shaping up?
Little is expected of Bolivia at this year’s Copa America, but it is still fair to say they will not arrive in Argentina in great shape. Gustavo Quinteros’ men, who have a FIFA ranking of 102, have not tasted victory in any fixture since an incredible 2-1 World Cup 2010 qualifying triumph over Brazil on a heady night in La Paz in October 2009. They have suffered friendly defeats to the likes of Latvia, Panama, Paraguay and Mexico already in 2011, with the common denominator being a chronic lack of goals.
On top of that, international football betting fans will know that keeping clean sheets is not the norm for Bolivia, but a goalless stalemate on the road in the second of their two recent clashes against Paraguay at least offers some encouragement. And it should not be forgotten that, in addition to their win over Brazil, they held the men in yellow to a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture and thrashed Argentina 6-1 to leave then-boss Diego Maradona shell-shocked. The latter scoreline will no doubt be brought up again ahead of their tournament opener against the hosts, for which they are priced as massive 20/1 long shots to cause an upset, with the draw available at betting odds of 6/1.
However, it would be dangerous to read too much into those results. All four victories in the ultimately unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign – they also defeated Paraguay 4-2 and Peru 3-0 – came at home, where opponents struggle to deal with the matches being played at altitude. Indeed, aside from the point gleaned in Brazil, Bolivia lost their other eight away matches, conceding 24 goals in the process. So we can safely assume they do not travel well!
Marcelo Moreno Martins
Caps: 22 Goals: 8
If Bolivia are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals, they will need a major contribution from Martins. In a squad shorn of proven goalscorers, the 24-year-old will be expected to use his strength and intelligent movement to provide a pivot for his team’s attacks. Premier League betting fans may remember him from a brief (and goalless) loan spell with Wigan in 2010, but he is now plying his trade in Ukraine for Shakhtar Donetsk. He fired an impressive eight goals in the World Cup qualifiers and will certainly be a threat against all three of Bolivia’s opponents in Group A.
Based on current form alone, it is hard to see Bolivia getting out of their group.
They will pin their hopes on results against Colombia and in particular Costa Rica after a probable defeat to Argentina. But it will need a major improvement from Ronald Raldes and his defensive colleagues if betting on them to reach the last eight is to pay off.
Verdict: Eliminated at group stage
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet or check out all bwin’s Copa America bets.