Chile v Australia Preview

Group B | Saturday 14 June | Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba | 00:00




Chile will face Australia in their first Group B game at the Arena Pantanal. Featuring in a group with two of the finalists from 2010, Chile are dark horses to qualify for the Round of 16 while Australia have been labelled the whipping boys and will be looking to prove otherwise.

To Win (90mins)
Chile 5/10 
Draw 28/10 
Australia 58/10

CHILE

Chile came third in the South-American qualifiers, and enjoyed a great spell in the final stages of qualifying.

A side containing the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal and a tactical discipline will make them a tough team to break down.

Chile won 10 of their 15 games played in 2013 and lost just two against Peru in the qualifiers in March and in a friendly against their bogey team Brazil.

Among their victories was an excellent 2-0 win over England at Wembley with Sanchez bagging a brace.

The Barcelona star will be chief tormentor against the Australian’s having been one of few to enjoy this season at the Nou Camp, scoring 19 times in the league.

Vidal will also be a menace, but his fitness will be questioned after recent surgery. The Juventus midfielder proved his quality this season, adding goals to his game in talismanic fashion.

His leadership will drive Chile on even if not fully fit, and his tenacity will open up his skills to a wider audience.

Australia will have to be on their toes against Chile, who can attack and press at an intense tempo. Their attacking threat is typical of a South American team and will cause Group B defences many problems.

However, like most teams from the continent, Chile struggle at the back. Their 3-4-3 system offers little defensive cover anyway, although Chile have personnel problems too.

A lack of quality means that Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel has often had to fill in at centre-back, and Marcos Gonzalez is short of match practice.

It will be interesting to witness this delicate balance between attack and defence and assess how far this exciting team can progress. 

AUSTRALIA

After a mediocre qualifying campaign and two hammerings at the hands of Brazil and France, Socceroo fans already had low expectations heading into the 2014 World Cup.

But to be drawn against defending champions Spain, 2010 finalists the Netherlands and a South American team on the rise in Chile, Australia's prospects became even grimmer.

After a rocky qualifying campaign which saw them replace manager Holger Osieck, Australia now enters a new era under Ange Postecoglou and under his guidance they should play an exciting and more attacking brand of football.

Their attacking fulcrum still remains manifested in Tim Cahill, formerly of Everton and still going strong in the United States' Major Soccer League (MLS).

Cahill's aerial threat remains undiminished, while he has also shown an increased penchant for goals from distance for MLS side New York Red Bulls.

Brett Holman has emerged as a midfield star for the Socceroos in recent times, often popping up to score crucial goals.

He has been capped 63 times for the national team playing predominantly as an attacking midfielder.

Betting Prediction: CHILE 5/10
When Australia faced two strong nations in Brazil and France late last year, they were thrashed 6-0 in both encounters and could similarly struggle against a top notch Chilean side who held Spain to a draw and were unfortunately beaten 2-1 by Brazil in that same period. The South Americans will be highly charged on their home continent and their attack should be too much for Australia to hold out. Chile are tipped at 5/10.  

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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