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Copa America Team of the Week - Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Edinson Cavani

Copa America Team of the Week - Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Cavani
© Reuters
Sports Mole selects its Copa America team of the week for matchday four of the competition, including Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Edinson Cavani.

There were four matches in the latest gameweek of the 2021 Copa America, with Ecuador opening the action with a 2-2 draw against Peru, which has left the two sides in third and fourth respectively in Group B, as they battle to advance to the knockout round of the competition.

Brazil then made it three wins from three matches in Group B with a 2-1 success over Colombia on Thursday, which has seen the hosts cruise into the next round, while Uruguay have advanced from Group A courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Bolivia, who have now been eliminated.

The latest round of matches were completed on Friday when Paraguay recorded a 2-0 victory over Chile, which moved the winners onto six points in Group A, with their spot in the knockout stage secure.

Chile sit third in Group A with five points from four matches, meanwhile, and will be present in the next round, as Bolivia have lost all three of their games in the section to sit at the bottom.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Copa America team of the week from the latest round of action.



DEFENCE

Uruguay's Jose Gimenez and Matias Vecino in action with Venezuela's Romulo Otero on June 8, 2021© Reuters

Between the sticks, there is a spot for Uruguay's Fernando Muslera, who impressed against Bolivia. It was not an obvious standout performance from the stopper, as he did not have to make save after save, but his calmness and handling was excellent over the course of the match and played an important role in his side's success.

There are two familiar faces in the middle of the defence here, with Uruguay's Jose Gimenez and Brazil's Thiago Silva both being given the nod due to their strong performances in the latest round of action.

Gimenez was a key contributor to his side picking up a 2-0 win over Bolivia, with the Atletico Madrid centre-back showing his leadership qualities throughout the contest. Diego Godin is unfortunate to miss out alongside his international teammate, but Gimenez just about gets the nod over the 35-year-old.

There is a veteran at the heart of the back four, though, as Thiago Silva had to be included due to his strong performance against Colombia. The 36-year-old hardly gave the opposition a kick in Rio de Janeiro, and it was impossible to leave him out of this side considering his overall performance.

At right-back, there is a spot for Paraguay's Alberto Espinola, who was in fine form against Chile; the 30-year-old was strong defensively and also offered plenty going forward, which can also be said for the left-back in this particular side, with Uruguay's Matias Vina putting in a fine performance.



MIDFIELD

Brazil midfielder Casemiro pictured on June 23, 2021© Reuters

There are three midfielders in this team, and the pick of the bunch was Casemiro, who scored a late winner for his team against Colombia. The Real Madrid midfielder was quietly effective for long spells, as he continued to recycle the ball before coming to the forefront in the final stages of the contest.

Uruguay's Federico Valverde is also selected in a midfield area, with the 22-year-old putting in an energetic performance for his country against Bolivia. Edinson Cavani ultimately made sure of the victory late on, but Uruguay owe a lot to the Real Madrid midfielder, who was incredibly effective over the course of the 90 minutes.

The final spot in the middle of the park is handed to Ecuador's Ayrton Preciado, who was on the scoresheet in his team's 2-2 draw with Peru. The 26-year-old actually played in a wide area on Wednesday but managed to contribute at both ends of the field, which helped Ecuador secure a point in the key encounter.

Jhegson Mendez was also impressive for Ecuador in the same match and is unfortunate to miss out, while Matias Vecino had a strong game for Uruguay and was close to being named in this particular XI.



ATTACK

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani pictured on June 24, 2021© Reuters

There had to be a spot in the final third of the field for Cavani, who was Uruguay's star player against Bolivia. The Manchester United forward came up with the game's second goal in the 79th minute, but it was his overall work that impressed the most, with the 34-year-old hassling the Bolivian defence all match.

Miguel Almiron, meanwhile, also features in an attacking area due to his excellent display against Chile. The 27-year-old provided the assist for Braian Samudio to send Paraguay ahead in the 33rd minute before scoring from the penalty spot in the 58th minute of the contest; it was the type of performance that the Newcastle United fans have enjoyed when Almiron has been at his best.

The final position in the XI is awarded to Peru's Gianluca Lapadula for his strong performance against Ecuador. Like Almiron, Lapadula both scored and assisted for his country, finding the back of the net in the 49th minute before turning provider for Andre Carrillo to score a second for Peru against a talented Ecuador side.

Carrillo himself was a candidate to make this side but just misses out, while the fact that Neymar did not find the back of the net just costs the Brazilian a spot in the team despite playing an important role in the success over Colombia for the host nation.



SPORTS MOLE'S COPA AMERICA TEAM OF THE WEEK

Copa America TOTW 4

Sports Mole's Copa America team of the week (4-3-3): Muslera; Espinola, Gimenez, T Silva, Vina; Valverde, Casemiro, Preciado; Lapadula, Cavani, Almiron


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