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10th June 2015

Injuries and Absences will deplete the talent pool in the Copa America

With the Copa America less than 10 days away, every team has now presented their 23-man squads looking towards the most important country competition in South America. Chile are the host nation and even though the locals – together with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay – appear to be contenders for the title, it’s safe to say that several teams will be hampered due to absences to some of their regular starters.

Brazil will have some important absences at both ends of the field. Marcelo (Real Madrid), Oscar (Chelsea) and Diego Alves (Valencia) are all going to miss the tournament. Diego Alves’ will be the biggest absence since he sustained a ligament injury in the final game of the Spanish season and won’t return until early 2016.

Argentina arrive with a top-level squad but they will suffer an important absence on the defensive end. Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio suffered a nasty injury playing for his club against Getafe and the leg fracture has kept him on the sidelines for a few months already.

Uruguay will not have Luis Suarez available and they will also miss two other players that appeared to be set to compete for a spot in the starting XI. Gaston Ramirez (Hull City) and Martin Caceres (Juventus) were both expected to fight for a place on Oscar Tabarez’ squad but injuries keep both out of the tournament.

Ecuador will be significantly hampered on the offensive side of the field. The team doesn’t have a lot of players with experience overseas and unfortunately for manager Gustavo Quinteros, three of his more important players won’t be able to participate in the tournament. Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol) asked to be removed as he needs to recover from two muscular injuries, Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) underwent surgery a few weeks ago and Michael Arroyo suffered a late leg injury.

Last but certainly not least, Colombia have some minor issues to overcome should they want to challenge. Midfielder Abel Aguilar (Toulouse) suffered a leg injury in early May and he will be out for around two months whilst Juan Fernando Quintero (FC Porto) suffered a knee injury when he presented to the training facilities, meaning coach Jose Pekerman has lost another player in the midfield mix. Striker Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund) was injured training with his club and has been ruled out for the competition

Despite some injury blows for these top nations, the Copa America will still showcase some of the most talented players in world football. Neymar, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Edinson Cavani, James Rodriguez and Paolo Guerrero are some of the names that will look to take their squads to the final rounds where only one team will be crowned as champions once everything is said and done.

Written by Juan Aravena

Juan Aravena is a consultant analyst for Chilean leagues.

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