WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Chile

WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Chile

COACH – Jorge Sampaoli
BEST SHOWING – Semi Finals 1962
QUALIFICATION – 3rd in CONMEBOL
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 50/1 (SkyBet/BetVictor)
FIXTURES
June 13th – Australia (2300 BST, Cuiaba, ITV)
June 18th – Spain (1700 BST, Porto Alegre, ITV)
June 23rd – Holland (1700 BST, Sao Paulo, ITV)

Button Spain Button Holland Button Australia

The Marcelo Bielsa era ended in tears as he followed through on his threat to resign if Jorge Segovia was appointed head of the Chilean FA in 2011.

His successor Claudio Borghi had a disastrous tenure in charge and after 18 months in charge, the Chilean FA turned to a disciple of Bielsa in Jorge Sampaoli.

Under Sampaoli, fortunes revived and Chile ended up qualifying with relative comfort for the World Cup and German boss Joachim Low admitted that his side were fortunate to defeat the Chileans in a friendly back in March.

As a man whose mindset is similar to Marcelo Bielsa’s, Campaoli is a fan of the 3-3-1-3 formation that can leave the Chileans vulnerable at the back but their work-rate, speed and pressing style makes it difficult to keep possession and maintain a patient approach. Chile will love the way Spain play and if their game plan comes off to full effect it will cause teams no end of problems.

Chile’s pressing game, their ability to create two-on-one situations and their ability to use both flanks to devastating effect can cause their opponents problems. But on the other hand their formation leads itself to defensive vulnerabilities and they have a knack of giving away sloppy fouls due to last ditch clumsy challenges when caught out.

Claudio Bravo should be the man between the sticks with Gary Medel, Marcos Gonzalez and Mauricio Isla in front of him.

Arturo Vidal and Marcelo Diaz should be in the second bank of three whilst Jorge Valdivia is the playmaker behind the front three spearheaded by Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez.

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ONE TO WATCH

05 WORLD CUP VIDALVidal’s versatility is an asset. The Juventus man has played all over the pitch for Chile and done a damn good job at it but his natural position is a box-to-box midfielder who fits into the Chilean mould of hard-tackling, intense, tenacious play.

His tackling and intensity isn’t the only string to his bow though as Vidal is also more than capable of scoring superb goals and creating numerous chances with his passing.

Vidal is for my money one of the best midfielders in the world and will relish the opportunity of testing his skills against the talented Spanish and Dutch midfield maestros.

HERE COMES D-JUDGE
D-Judge

It’s in South America and not many people are talking up Chile’s chances here but I’m not one of them.

If Sampaoli’s game plan comes off, Chile can be a joy to watch and will give many neutrals many hours of viewing pleasure with their pleasing style which matches skill and tenacity.

They’re more than capable of frightening Spain and Holland and their unorthodox tactical set-up has caused better nations a lot of problems. They’re on the cusp of being one of the world’s top sides and had they been drawn in another group a lot of folk would be saying they’re potential quarter-finalists or even better.

If they can somehow win the group I could see a last four berth for them but a mouthwatering last 16 clash against Brazil seems the likelier prospect.

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VERDICT

They’ll advance – how far they get depends on if they avoid Brazil. If they do I can see a last four place, if not this talented bunch will bow out in the last sixteen.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Alexis Danchez (D-Good)
Owls Alive
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