2015 Copa America Preview: Venezuela Ready To Expand On Bright Recent Results

Years ago Venezuela would've been seen as one of the most beatable teams in the CONMEBOL region but things have changed. Even though they haven't been able to qualify for a World Cup, the team has experienced an steady growth and most of these players appear to be ready to take their game to the next level. Most of their players have international experience and more and more are playing in Europe so this is a squad that keeps improving game after game.

The results haven't gone their way since Noel Sanvicente took the reims of the team but that could easily change in the Copa America since this will be the first time Sanvicente will have enough time to work with his players. They will certainly have a tough challenge ahead of themselves as they will face Peru, Colombia and Brazil - certainly not an easy group but the players and the coaching staff are confident to get positive results, especially against the two first teams.

Venezuela will play with their usual 4-1-4-1 although they adept to change their tactic several times in the same game, moving easily to a 3-4-2-1, a 3-4-1-2 or to a 4-2-3-1 based on what the team needs on specific situations.

As it has been the case over the last few years, Venezuela's defensive line is settled in case everyone's fit and available. Dani Hernandez is coming off a good season with Spanish side Tenerife and he'll be the one between the posts. The four-man defensive line is expected to have Roberto Rosales on the right flank, Grenddy Perozo and Oswaldo Vizcarrondo at center-backs and Fernando Amorebieta as left-back, altough Gabriel Cichero could easily there either as a CB or as a LB depending on the team's needs.

The midfield zone will be anchored by Genoa's Tomas Rincon and in front of him, the duo of Franklin Lucena and Juan Arango will give the side equilibrium on both sides of the ball. Arango is a former AM who has been re-converted to a more defensive role but he'll have plenty of freedom to move forward and when that happens, Lucena will guard his back.

Josef Martinez will attack on the right flank and Cesar Gonzalez is expected to do it on the opposite side, although Miku is an option to start as a LW in case the manager wants a more attacking player on the flank. Gonzalez plays as a central midfielder and his club and he might not feel completely comfortable on a wider role. The center of the attack, on the other hand, will be occupied by Salomon Rondon who's the team biggest star and who's coming off a great season with Russian side Zenit.

Considering their rivals and the talent of the team, they can easily target a best-third placed team finish. Getting into the next round would be the confidence boost this team needs to make some noise not only in the Copa America but in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers as well.

23-man Official Roster:

GK: Alaín Baroja (Caracas), Wuilker Faríñez (Caracas) y Dani Hernández (Tenerife-SPA).

Defenders: Gabriel Cichero (Mineros), Grenddy Perozo (Ajaccio-FRA), Andrés Túñez (Buriram United-TAI), Wilker Ángel (Deportivo Táchira), Roberto Rosales (Málaga-SPA), Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough-ENG), Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes-FRA).

Midfielders: Rafael Acosta (Mineros), Alejandro Guerra (Atlético Nacional-COL), Ronald Vargas (Baliskersirspor-TUR), Franklin Lucena (Deportivo La Guaira), César González (Deportivo Táchira), Tomás Rincón (Genoa-ITA), Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe-COL), Juan Arango (Tijuana-MEX), Jhon Murillo (Zamora).

Forwards: Gelmin Rivas (Deportivo Táchira), Nicolás Fedor (Rayo Vallecano-SPA), Josef Martínez (Torino-ITA) y Salomón Rondón (Zenit-RUS).

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