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Written By Onyeka Daniel

In the ongoing Copa America 2024 tournament, happening in the United States of America, the first match in group C will kick off with an encounter between USA and Bolivia at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Italian referee, Maurizio Mariani in charge of proceedings from the centre.

USA

For the host, getting the maximum result from this match is of utmost importance, if they hope to top this group and avoid the heavyweights in the tournament in the knockout stage, as Uruguay will also be having the same objective on their mind.

Coming into this tournament as the 11th-ranked side according to FIFA, expectations are as high as they have ever been for them, as they’re entering the tournament for the fifth time in their history. Being invitees and this year’s host nation, the USA have never progressed further in the tournament than the semi-finals.

Also, No side outside of South America has ever won this competition, and on paper, the United States appear to be the most likely to break that record. Pulisic and Timothy Weah will be the focal point in attack, especially on the wings while Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie will be pulling the strings from the midfield.

USA Possible Starting Lineup: Turner; Scally, Richards, Carter-Vickers, A. Robinson; Adams, Musah, McKennie; Weah, Pepi, Pulisic

Bolivia

While they were Copa América champions in 1963 and runners-up in 1997, but recent history is far from the side of Bolivia. They have made it out of the group stage just once in nine attempts since then, reaching the quarter-finals in 2015.

They failed to win a single game in each of those group stage exits. Earning even a point at this year’s Copa America will definitely be an achievement as the La Verde have lost 11 consecutive group fixtures at this tournament since 2015.

In this tournament, they will be banking on Rodrigo Ramallo who has seven goals to his name, more than any other player in the team, and Ramiro Vaca with four goals closely behind him.

However, they will be without Jairo Quinteros for this encounter after the Bolivar defender ruptured his Achilles tendon, while Always Ready midfielder Moises Paniagua cannot participate either as the 16-year-old was not given full parental authorization to receive an entry visa into the US.

Bolivia Possible Starting Lineup: Lampe; Medina, Haquin, Jusino, Jo. Sagredo; Saucedo; Terceros, Villamil, Vaca, Fernandez; Ramallo

Read Also: Euro 2024: A Quick Slide Into Group E

Head To Head

Bolivia are winless and haven’t scored a goal either in their previous two encounters against the USA (friendly match), though the only time these teams met at the Copa America in 1995, Bolivia came away with a 1-0 triumph.

Verdict

Should be an easy win for the host nation if they can get their acts together. The Americans will most likely get a penalty with a 2-0 scoreline.

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