Argentina will have home-field advantage as the much-anticipated Copa America kicks off on July 1st.

The 12-team tournament also features Colombia, Bolivia, and Costa Rica - the recent replacement for Japan - in Group A, with host Argentina.

Group B consists of 2007 Champions Brazil, along with Paraguay, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Group C will include recent Gold Cup Champions Mexico, with Uruguay, Chile, and Peru.

It will be interesting to see how Mexico progresses after a successful Gold Cup. Jose Manuel de la Torre will be without Javier El Chicharito Hernandez, as Giovani dos Santos will be the only notable player on a very inexperienced roster.

While Uruguay features a team composed primarily of the squad that came in Third Place in the 2010 World Cup, the favorites for the tournament will likely come down to two traditional rivals: Brazil and Argentina.

In the 2007 Copa America tournament, Argentina sent their top players, while Brazil's squad was made up of mainly up-and-coming and inexperienced players like goalkeeper Doni, and forward Vagner Love.

However, having a collection of players with limited experience didn't hurt Brazil in the Final, when they gave their rivals a 3-0 thumping and sending the Argentines home in embarrassment and disbelief.

With the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, as well as the 2014 World Cup, this is a great tune up for new Brazil head coach Mano Menezes. A Copa America victory on Argentina's soil would be a fantastic achievement for the Verde-Amarela.

This year's roster includes veteran Julio Cesar. While goalkeeping has been historically a rather weak position for Brazil, Julio Cesar has proven to be one of the world's elite goalkeepers.

Julio Cesar may not be called upon to make many saves with a talent-loaded defense in front of him. Lucio, Daniel Alves, Maicon, and David Luiz are as good as they get, and the reserves are top quality, as well.

Menezes will have to work some magic in the midfield with only Ramires and Elano having adequate experience. Lucas Leiva has only 12 caps, but he's been a prominent performer for Liverpool. The rest of the midfield will be a huge question mark.

The forwards are also somewhat inexperienced beyond Robinho, but the other players surrounding the AC Milan star will be ones to watch. Robinho's Milan teammate, Alexandre Pato, only 21, has yet to prove himself as one of the best strikers in the world, though it's very apparent that the talent is there.

When it comes to young talent, no player on any roster might be in the class of Brazilian forward Neymar. The subject of several transfer rumors to both Chelsea and Real Madrid, the Copa America tournament might be the perfect forum for Neymar to show where he belongs on the world stage.

It should be a very good tournament for the continent's most populated country, even though Ramires, a fixture for Chelsea, has already stated that Argentina deserve to be the favorites. 

Argentina, considered a world power in the sport, has had a drought of international success dating back to 1993 when they won they Copa America, and haven't won a World Cup since 1986.

While head coach Sergio Batista has a roster stacked with talent, and veteran Javier Zanetti has been included on the team, defense will be a serious factor in the team's success.

Missing from the squad are veterans Walter Samuel, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Heinze, and young star Nicolas Otamendi. With Gabriel Milito, Nicolas Burdisso, and Pablo Zabaleta, and with Zanetti still effective, the Argentine defense should be fine, but this is not the star-studded line from the 2010 World Cup. There is no superstar goalkeeper to perhaps make up for the defense's mistakes.

Another area of concern is central midfielder, a position that has been vacant of superstar talent since legend Diego Maradona. With Juan Veron out of the picture, the pressure will be on Javier Pastore to step into the role of playmaker should Batista use a traditional lineup.

Argentina remains arguably the best in the world at defensive midfield, with Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, and Esteban Cambiasso, as well as at the wing position with Angel di Maria. Meanwhile, the forwards are also top quality with Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez, and one other specific player.

Yes, the Copa America will be another great opportunity for Lionel Messi to prove himself outside of the club level. Considered by many as the world's best player, Messi has been a superstar for Barcelona, but just a solid player for his country.

He has scored only 17 goals in 55 appearances for Argentina, and didn't score in the 2010 World Cup. As great as Messi is, at Barcelona he has had the ideal players surrounding him to showcase his talents, and that may not be the case with Argentina. He might be called upon to play more of the attacking midfielder role with La Albiceleste, while Tevez, Higuain, and Sergio Aguero handle the striker duties.

It will be interesting to see how under-achieving Argentina will do on their home field, and with Messi eager to prove he can be a success on international scene.