How are the Premier League stars performing at Copa America?

Football Thursday July 4, 2024 By: Harry Howes

With the late kick-off times and Euro fever taking over the nation, it can be difficult keeping up with Copa America.

Yet the tournament in the USA has been quietly bubbling away across the pond. The quarter-finals get underway this weekend, with Argentina looking to retain the title they won in Brazil three years ago.

Ahead of the knockout stages, we’ve taken a look at how all of the Premier League representatives have been performing.

Quarter-final fixtures

Argentina v Ecuador – Friday 5th July

Venezuela v Canada – Saturday 6th July

Colombia v Panama – Saturday 6th July

Uruguay v Brazil – Sunday 7th July

Liverpool pair to lock horns in quarter-final

The final eight has drawn South American sides Uruguay and Brazil together in a game that will be keenly observed by Liverpool fans across the globe. The match sees the often impenetrable goalkeeper Alisson come up against teammate Darwin Nunez who is proving to be rather prolific on the international stage.

The 25-year-old has scored twice in the tournament so far, helping his side top Group C with three wins out of three. In fact, Nunez’s blank in Uruguay’s final game ended his run of scoring in seven consecutive games for his nation.

Nunez has Premier League back-up supporting him in attack, notably in the form of Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellistri. The winger has played almost every minute for Uruguay, popping up with a goal and an assist. Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has found gametime hard to come by. Despite this, he still found himself on the scoresheet in Uruguay’s 5-0 drubbing of Bolivia.

Nunez and co. will fancy their chances when they take to the pitch in the early hours of Sunday morning. While Brazil are traditionally among the world’s best, they’re yet to find their rhythm in the tournament and finished as runners-up in their group behind Colombia.

Alisson will be hoping he can thwart Liverpool colleague Nunez, aided by the assistance of Premier League stars Bruno Guimaraes and Joao Gomes, who have been near ever-present during the competition.

West Ham attacker Lucas Paqeuta has contributed, popping up with a goal and an assist in Brazil’s 4-1 win over Paraguay. However, Arsenal duo Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli have barely featured.

Crystal Palace duo star for Colombia

It’s a measure of the progress Crystal Palace have made in recent years that their players are starring at both the Euros and Copa America, something their fans have certainly never been used to.

Yet it’s a pair of Eagles that are soaring for surprise package Colombia, most notably marauding right-back Daniel Munoz. The 28-year-old has his sights set on the Golden Boot having scored twice so far, including an equaliser against Brazil on Wednesday.

Munoz also netted in his side’s opening game, as did Palace teammate Jefferson Lerma. The 2-1 victory against Paraguay set Colombia on their way as they finished ahead of Brazil to top Group D and set up a quarter-final meeting with Panama.

Liverpool star Luiz Diaz has also been a key figure in Colombia’s success. He scored the opener in their 3-0 win over Costa Rica and he’ll be essential if they want to reach the latter stages of the tournament. Chelsea target Jhon Duran and Bournemouth’s Luis Sinisterra are part of the Colombia squad but have struggled for minutes so far.

Chelsea midfielders go head-to-head

Much like Nunez’s impending battle with Alisson, the Copa America quarter-finals could see another pair of club team-mates come up against each other. Argentina take on Ecuador this Friday, with Chelsea midfielders Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo competing on opposite sides.

Fernandez will be desperate to prove himself against his west London counterpart but he’s been mainly used from the bench so far despite starring for Argentina as they won the World Cup in Qatar 18 months ago.

Elsewhere, Argentina’s squad resembles a ‘who’s who’ of Premier League stars. Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Maritnez has kept three clean sheets so far, with Lisandro Martinez and Cristian Romero playing their part in a solid defence.

Manchester City star Julian Alvarez has scored once so far, netting in the opening game against Canada. Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister will be hoping to continue his promising season by contributing in the tournament, while Alejandro Garnacho and Giovani Lo Celso have also seen minutes.

Caicedo’s former Brighton teammate Jeremy Sarmiento has been a bright spark for Ecuador so far. The tricky winger, who spent last season on loan at Championship sides West Brom and Ipswich, has been heavily involved and scored in his side’s defeat against Venezuela.

An early exit for some Premier League stars

While there are plenty of Premier League players in with a shout of winning the competition, for some familiar names it just wasn’t to be. Jamaica crashed out after losing all three games, with Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey refusing to be part of the squad after falling out with the hierarchy.

Brentford’s Ethan Pinnock was unable to prevent his side shipping seven goals in their three defeats. However, there was some joy for West Ham attacker Michail Antonio. He scored Jamaica’s first ever Copa America goal and their only one of the tournament in a 3-1 loss to Ecuador.

Elsewhere, the USA were eliminated as they finished third in Group C after a shock defeat to Panama. Palace defender Chris Richards was an ever-present alongside Fulham duo Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson. Matt Turner and Tyler Adams also featured.

And finally, Paraguay finished rock-bottom of their group following three defeats. Brighton’s Julio Enciso netted in their game against Colombia, while Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron was also involved.

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