• Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez.

Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez. (Photo : Getty Images)

Tournament hosts United States will begin their campaign in the much-awaited 2016 Copa America Centenario against a tough South American club, Colombia, on June 3, Friday at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The United States and Colombia are going to represent Group A, labelled by football pundits as the tourney's "Group of Death", together with other powerhouse squads 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists Costa Rica and 2015 Copa America semifinalists Paraguay.

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Jürgen Klinsmann's side, currently ranked 29th in the world by FIFA, is bannered by a combination of veteran and young players and will surely enjoy the advantage of playing in their home country for the duration of the competitions.

The team is still expected to rely on the duo of 28-year-old team captain Michael Bradley and 33-year-old lead goal scorer Clint Dempsey when it comes to leadership and mental toughness, but young guns Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund and Darlington Nagbe of the Portland Timbers are also projected to give them a much-needed change of pace during games, via Vavel.

USMNT's backfield is not the best of the best as compared to other teams in the tournament, but they can hold their own. Borussia Monchengladbach's Fabian Johnson and Hertha Berlin's John Brooks remain as the anchor on defense with Sunderland's 22-year-old right back DeAndre Yedlin expected to gain attention.

Meanwhile, world no. 4 Colombia remains to be one of the best football teams in the planet today. Bannered by some of the biggest names in the sport, namely James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca, and Juan Cuadrado, the squad is presumed to advance at least in the quarterfinals of this year's tournament.

They are arguably the more talented side than the Americans in all positions and is also the younger team, which makes them a favorite to win this matchup.

Head coach José Pékerman's squad has a shallow backfield, though, which is one of the weaknesses of Los Cafeteros. Their dismal showing in the 2015 Copa America may also dampen their confidence going into the contest as the road team.

However, with La Tricolor having the "overall better talent from top to bottom", as per Sports Chat Place, the team will prevail in this tournament-opening encounter with the hosts.

The predicted result is a 3-1 win for Colombia.

United States starting lineup (4-3-3 formation): Guzan; Yedlin, Besler, Brooks, Johnson; Beckerman, Bradley, Jones; Zardes, Dempsey, Pulisic

Colombia starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Ospina; Zapata, Murillo, Arias, Fabra; Aguilar, Sanchez; Cardona, Rodriguez, Cuadrado; Bacca