Mexico has done everything expected of it thus far as the CONCACAF’s top team in this Copa America Centenario. Uruguay, however, failed to find a scoring replacement for injured star Luis Saurez and finds itself playing out the string for pride against Jamaica before its early return to South America. Venezuela will join Mexico in the final eight of the Copa as the South American upstart is riding high after a pair of 1-0 victories, but the current form of El Tri in this showdown for group honors is an entirely different animal
These picks cover the matches for June 13, using a 4-4-2 formation and salary cap of $90,000 as part of Fan XT’s Daily Fantasy rules for the Copa America tournament.
Goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico ($7,190). After turning in a clean sheet against Jamaica and making five saves, the Malaga goalkeeper is the pick to start this crunch encounter given his previous big-game experience for Mexico.
Defenders: Miguel Layun, Mexico ($7,440). Layun has been quietly effective in Mexico’s two wins and providing quality service on corner kicks and crosses when he gets forward. While Layun has yet to register a goal or an assist, his potential to get either as a defender still makes him one of the most cost-effective selections on the backline for DFS players.
Diego Godin, Uruguay ($9,190). The talisman for La Celeste has done all he could, but there’s little left for the Atletico Madrid man but pride. He will be kept busy with Jamaica’s tandem strike force of Giles Barnes and Clayton Donaldson, but Uruguay’s midfield should help reduce that threat.
Jose Gimenez, Uruguay ($8,560). Godin’s partner for club and country in central defense, Gimenez has pushed forward more often than Godin, who is the bigger threat on set pieces for Uruguay. The younger defender needs a strong effort here to make sure he stays in Oscar Tabarez’s good graces when World Cup qualifying resumes in the fall.
Rafa Marquez, Mexico ($7,020). The ageless veteran has played the full 180 minutes with little issue and even provided a goal. This is another case of riding a veteran player in a must-win game, and Marquez also provides plenty of cap flexibility with such a low price tag.
Midfielders: Hector Herrera, Mexico ($8,000). Herrera stepped up with Andres Guardado absent due to a red card and assisted on Oribe Peralta’s late goal to seal the victory. A jack-of-all trades in Mexico’s midfield, expect Herrera to keep delivering as he returns to his customary role with Guardado back.
Andres Guardado, Mexico ($7,500). And speaking of the PSV midfielder, he will be well-rested after sitting out the win over Jamaica. The fulcrum of Mexico’s midfield, Guardado’s return should provide an advantage in pressing forward and maintaining possession for El Tri as they try to extend their unbeaten streak to 19 matches.
Carlos Sanchez, Uruguay ($7,380). Sanchez has been an unsung midfielder for Uruguay, serving as the only consistent provider of service for Edinson Cavani. Sanchez assisted on La Celeste’s only goal through the first two matches and has been pumping in crosses (12) and corner kicks (6) with regularity. If Cavani again struggles, look for Sanchez to perhaps be more selfish and have a few efforts at goal.
Alejandro Guerra, Venezuela ($7,040). While Tomas Rincon is the more promising prospect in the Venezuelan pipeline and has had flashes of solid play, Guerra has been the more dangerous option in helping La Vintotinto claim the maximum six points thus far. Mexico provides a far more difficult challenge, but there may be spots on the counter Guerra, Rincon and striker Salomon Rondon can exploit.
Forwards: Javier Hernandez, Mexico ($8,380). Chicharito has been everything advertised through two matches and his header against Jamaica sent El Tri on their way to victory. After netting his 45th goal, Hernandez is one shy of matching Jared Borgetti for the all-time lead in Mexico’s history, and his rich run of form makes him an odds-on favorite to equal or potentially overtake Borgetti in this contest.
Edinson Cavani, Uruguay ($9,500). It’s easy to pillory Cavani, who has struggled with the weight of being alone up front without the injured Suarez. His miss in the 90th minute from close range against Venezuela that would have tied the match and likely given La Celeste a point could also weigh on his mind in this match, but the bet here is the PSG winger puts it behind him and has a strong effort to close out group play for Uruguay.