The summer is often a tough time for football fans with not a lot on offer in terms of competitive matches from respected competitions. That forces followers into reading gossip columns and unreliable transfer talk in the hope of taking the edge off. It rarely has the desired effect.

Football fanatics have found respite in this summer’s Copa America, however, with the competition boasting some of the biggest names in the game, as well as a few international superpowers who are intent on adding their name to the honours list.

Four Becomes Two

We’ve not been short of drama at this year’s Copa America, with the results already throwing up upsets and surprises. This week sees us head into the all-important semi-final stage where the four remaining teams will be whittled down to two over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Who will come out on top? Major bookmakers have had their say and offer punters the chance to mark the occasion with a winning bet. Have your say on the outright winner of the trophy or get your stakes down on the two semi-finals.

Soccer player Lionel Messi, during the Venezuela vs Argentina match

Soccer player Lionel Messi, during the Venezuela vs Argentina match

There are over 100 markets available on each game, including match winner, both teams to score, correct score, handicap, first goal scorer, half time/full time and plenty more besides.

Brazil yet to Concede a Goal

Brazil go into Wednesday’s match, which will be shown live from 1.30am GMT, on the back of a thoroughly entertaining win over Paraguay last time out. The Samba Boys needed extra-time and penalties to get the job done but, in the end, they were fully deserving of their place in the semis.

The teams couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes of play and that meant the game had to be settled from the penalty spot. There was very little between the rivals even then, but Brazil held their nerve to win 4-3. Paraguay came agonisingly close to pulling off an upset, despite having Balbena sent off on 58 minutes for a foul on Roberto Firmino. Gabriel Jesus scored the decisive penalty and the result meant his team are yet to concede a goal in open play.

That solid backline and Brazil’s flair in attack has won the admiration of bookmakers and they have moved to price Brazil as favourites to beat Argentina on Wednesday. In a competitive market backers will find Ladbrokes offering 3/4 on the jolly and that appears to be the general idea in the betting ring at the time of writing. Those after more can try their luck on Brazil win to nil which carries a 7/4 quote at bet365. Another draw has been chalked up at 12/5 by Unibet.

Nice Price About the Upset

Argentina also go into this match on the back of a confidence boosting win in the quarter finals, but they were much more convincing than their opponents, getting the job done in regulation time with a bit to spare. They eased their way to a 2-0 victory over Venezuela on Friday and looked like they barely got out of first gear when doing so. There’s plenty more to come from this side, that’s for sure. Fans will be hoping the journey doesn’t end before the team gets a chance to really show what they are made of.

Martinez scored inside 10 minutes to give Argentina an early lead and that helped settle any nerves that existed in the dressing room. That fast start suggested the floodgates were about to open, but it took Argentina until the 74th minute to double their advantage, Lo Celso making sure of the win when scoring to end the match as a contest. Man City attacker Sergio Aguero played a part in the build up of both goals and will be desperate to lead by example against Brazil. He’s one of the best players in the world at the minute and is a man who can turn games in the blink of an eye.

Despite Argentina’s red-hot form and their starting 11 being littered with big name players, they have been written off by traders to reach the final. Those happy to take a chance on the underdogs will find bet365 offering a market best price of 4/1. That’s stunning and is a quote sure to attract the attention of value hunters. This looks certain to be a tight, low-scoring contest and you can avoid predicting a winner by backing under 2.5 goals at 8/13 (bet365).