|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleFriday, 13 June 2014 at 22:00 GMT / 23:00 UK / 03:30 IST
VenueArena Pantanal (Cuiabá, Mato Grosso)
Next Friday, Chile will face Australia at Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, on what will be the second match of Group B, right after Spain and Holland battle for a victory three hours before them.
Several pundits consider Chile one of the underdogs of the forthcoming tournament. The current Chilean side are a completely different team from the one that Claudio Borghi commanded in 2011 and 2012. When the Argentinean head-coach Jorge Sampaoli took the helm of the team back in December 2012, he immediately started to imprint his own ideas and game principles into the players and Chile quickly transformed into an entirely new team. Sampaoli has been labeled as a Marcelo Bielsa’s disciple because of his attacking tactical style, quite similar to the one practiced by his fellow countryman. The former Universidad de Chile’s manager implemented a 3-4-3 attacking-pron style at the Chilean National Team and he has already been harvesting the results. Chile have recently defeated England at Wembley Stadium and forced Spain and Brazil to draw.
Over the last two weeks, Chile took part in two preparation matches and won both of them, first against Egypt and last Wednesday against Northern Ireland. The South American La Roja have, nevertheless, experienced some unexpected difficulties on both matches, especially against Egypt, a match they won 3-2. Moreover, the match against Northern Ireland was also far from being easy and the Chilean side only scored the opening goal on the 79’ minute by Eduardo Vargas.
For the match against Australia, Jorge Sampaoli will not be able to count on the Juventus' midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is sidelined due to a knee injury.
As for Australia, the match against Chile will mark the beginning of their third consecutive presence on a World Cup tournament since they granted their presence at the 2006 Germany tournament by the hand of the charismatic Guus Hiddink. The current Socceroos team is considerably different from the one that managed to impress pundits back in 2006 and lacks both the intensity and probably the quality their fellow countrymen had back then. Australia have been on fairly negative streak of results and they haven’t won a single match since they defeated Iraq almost a year ago.
The Socceroos are, by far, the weakest link on Group B and their manager, former Greek born Australian defender Ange Postecoglou, will have plenty work ahead of him if he wants to take something positive from his side’s participation in the World Cup.
Chile are a very strong and unpredictable team and thus they are firm favourites for next Friday’s match, particularly against a frail Australian side that might certainly not have what is needed to defeat any of their group rivals.
Stats: W-3 L-2 D-0
Recent Form - WWLWL
Stats: W-0 L-4 D-1
Recent Form - LDLLL
Chile (3-4-3) - Bravo - Jara - Medel - González - Isla - Aranguíz - Díaz - Mena - Valdivia - Sánchez - Vargas
Australia (4-3-3) - Ryan - Franjic - Spiranovic - Wilkinson - Davidson - Jedinak - Milligan - Vidosic - Leckie - Oar - Cahill