Socceroos opposition scouting report: Chile

Australia has history with Chile in the World Cup, also meeting in our first foray into the tournament back in 1974, playing out a 0-0 draw.

Chile has emerged as one of the best side's out of South America in recent years, started off by former boss Marcelo Bielsa and carried on by current coach Jorge Sampaoli.

The Chileans favour a high-tempo pressing game with quick counter-attacks using the pace of Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez and Valencia's Eduardo Vargas.

But under Sampaoli they have found more of a balance, mixing the all-action pressing game with periods of keeping possession and a far slower tempo.

The key for the South Americans could be Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is brilliant at breaking forward from midfield to support his attackers (see him in action for Juve as the FOXTEL A-League All Stars take on the Italians this August in Sydney).

Perhaps crucially for Australia, Vidal has recently undergone knee surgery and could potentially miss the World Cup.

Vidal has great engines and is dangerous in-and-around an opponent's penalty box - his loss could be a huge plus for the Socceroos.

Midfielders Marcelo Diaz (FC Basel) and Gary Medel from Cardiff City are also vital for Chile, providing excellent defensive cover as well as getting attacks started from their own half.

While Chile may alter their game plan against Spain and Netherland to deal with the threats those side's pose, against Australia in the opening match of the group you can bank on a performance of full-on pace and power.

 

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