Monday, June 28, 2010

Brazil vs Chile - Preview


18:30 GMT, June 28, 2010
Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brazil boss Dunga endures a strained relationship with his country's media for being too defensive for their extravagant taste. But the 1994 World Cup-winning captain has constructed a team built on solid foundations that are tough to beat, have already won the Confederations Cup and the Copa America and are favourites to win the 2010 World Cup.

The five-time World Champions eased through the 'Group of Death', with victories over North Korea and Ivory Coast allowing Dunga to omit his key attacking trio, for one reason or another, for the 0-0 draw against Portugal as qualification was already assured. Robinho was rested, Elano missed the game with injury and Kaka was suspended following a controversial red card against Ivory Coast. All three are expected to start on Monday.
It is a different story for Chile, however. La Roja's gung-ho approach to tackling means manager Marcelo Bielsa has a number of suspensions to deal with. Defenders Gary Medel and Waldo Ponce will be missing from the back four and holding midfielder Marco Estrada is also serving a ban.
Their indiscipline could prove costly as, according to FIFA, which uses tracking technology to capture data on each player at the World Cup and then assesses it to see if it had a positive or negative impact on their team, Ponce and Medel were the two most effective players in the tournament during the first two matches.

Competition Stats

GoalsLuis Fabiano 2Mark González 1
YellowsLuis Fabiano 1Matías Fernández 2
RedsKaká 1Marco Estrada 1

Brazil player in focus: Kaka - The Brazilian playmaker arrived at the World Cup following a pretty poor first season at Real Madrid but his importance to the national side was highlighted by his absence in the 0-0 draw against Portugal. Although still far from his best, Kaka still managed to set up two goals in Brazil's crucial 3-1 win over Ivory Coast, including dancing through two tackles to provide Luis Fabiano with his opening goal, and he will be chomping at the bit after being sent off in that match.
Chile player in focus: Alexis Sanchez - This pacy Udinese forward has already established himself as a "wonderkid'" in his homeland and standout performances in wins over Honduras and Switzerland at the World Cup have enhanced his reputation still further. Sanchez is a player with great technique, who prefers to play in wide areas but can also get into the box and score goals. Playing in a front three allows him drift in and out of the box and find space in which to use his pace.
Key battle: Luis Fabiano v Claudio Bravo - In an interview this week, Brazilian striker Fabiano issued a come-and-get-me plea to Manchester United and AC Milan and if he can continue his goalscoring exploits against Chile he may well get his wish. The Sevilla player is the only out-and-out striker in the Brazil side and he will pose serious threat to Chile's second-string defence. Chile 'keeper Claudio Bravo will be expecting a busy day between the posts and will be hoping to avoid a similar howler to the one that gifted Spain's Andres Iniestawith the opening goal in their last match. He had been excellent until then.
Trivia: A national flag pulled from the rubble of the earthquake that hit Chile in February has been an inspiration to the Chile players throughout the World Cup. It hangs in a prominent place at the team-training complex and the players often refer to it as providing motivation for them.
Stats: Chile have lost seven straight games against Brazil, including being swept aside in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, and were outscored 26-3 in those seven games.
Odds: Brazil (1.53), the draw (4.00) and Chile (6.50) with Bet365. If you back Luis Fabiano to score first and Brazil to win 2-1, you can get 26.00.
Prediction: If Chile had all their players available it would be a very tall order to beat Brazil, who are old hands at easing through the second round, but with two key defenders suspended it makes a potential shock even more unlikely.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice match preview. You should be on ESPN rather than the nitwits we have right now. I just love your prediction you take a strong stand....sadly experts dont do that these days.