Brazil vs Chile Match Preview
Brazil’s home record against Chile is nearly perfect. Undefeated in 26 meetings spanning 95 years, but Luis Felipe Scolari’s side have no illusions of the fact that they will have to produce their finest performance in the World Cup so far to overcome their tricky South American rivals.
Chile’s aggressive pressing and their fearless, fluid offensive style has added a different dynamism to the side which went down 3-0 to Brazil at the same stage last time around to the day of this game – but Jorge Sampaoli’s men have nothing but firm belief that they are good enough to mingle with the big boys. The last time Chile reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup was way back in 1962 when they hosted the competition, a repeat of that feat could well send shock waves across the footballing planet.
Brazil clinched top spot in Group A with a 4-1 victory against Cameroon on Monday, but have failed to replicate the eye-catching performances we associate with the Samba boys. They were made to earn their come from behind 3-1 win against Croatia in a game marred by controversy as Fred was awarded a penalty for a foul by Dejan Lovren, and Mexico took them to the cleaners, albeit in a goalless match. And for much for the game against Cameroon, the Brazilian backline was kept interested, and with the quality Chile have upfront, this could be a real test for Scolari’s side.
Scolari had said in an interview in December that the last time he wanted to face in the Round of 16 was Chile. And he would have felt vindicated as Chile sealed defending Champions Spain’s fate with a clinical 2-0 win. Spain dominated possession and were picked off by a Chilean midfield that seems to have come off ages. Xavi and Iniesta dominated the pre-match talk prior to the do-or-die game, however it was Charles Aranguiz and Arturo Vidal who stole the show as Chile picked off a Spain side who were wasteful in possession. Let me put it this way, they weren’t allowed to be anything but.
“We need to be calmer, to relax and go after the game,” said Scolari.
“Chile have a lot of quality. If I could choose, I would choose another opponent. South American teams are always tough.”
The Dutch sat back, allowed Chile the ball and counter-attacked with the pace of Robben. Brazil could do pretty much the same with Neymar, but they don’t seem to have the players to play in such a way. And Chile certainly have Brazil rattled in more ways than one. Coach Jorge Sampaoli decided to suspend training on Thursday when a helicopter from Brazilian television station O Globo hovered over the pitch as he chalked out his master plan against the Brazilians. The helicopter eventually took flight, but Chile could well hand an embarrassing early exit to the World Cup’s most successful team.
Brazil vs Chile Match Facts:
- Brazil are unbeaten in their last 12 games (W10, D2) against Chile since a 3-0 away defeat in a World Cup qualifier in August 2000.
- Brazil have won all three World Cup meetings: 4-2 in 1962, 4-1 in 1998 and 3-0 in 2010 exactly four years ago to the day of Saturday’s match.
- Chile have only beaten Brazil seven times in 68 attempts, drawing 13 and losing 48. Four of those Chile wins came in competitive matches.
- The nations last met on 20 November 2013 in a friendly in Toronto, when Brazil beat Chile 2-1. Hulk and Robinho scored either side of an Eduardo Vargas equaliser for Chile.
Facts compiled from BBC
Brazil vs Chile Predicted Lineups:
Brazil: Júlio César; Marcelo, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves; Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho; Neymar, Oscar, Hulk; Fred.
Chile: Claudio Bravo; Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel, Francisco Silva; Eugenio Mena, Marcelo Díaz, Charles Aránguiz, Mauricio Isla; Arturo Vidal; Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sánchez.
Brazil vs Chile Prediction:
Much of Brazil’s fate depends on coach Luis Felipe Scolari’s tactics. The midfield has been wasteful in possession and the attack hasn’t quite clicked as a unit. Fernandinho may come in for Paulinho, and he may gamble with Willian in place of Hulk. But if Brazil give the ball away as frequently as they did against Cameroon, we might just have the biggest upset of the World Cup to talk about tonight. Chile are a very strong side, and Brazil’s possession game does play into their hands.
Football is so much about the big players coming to the fore in crucial circumstances. It is a tournament when legends are created and reputations are made or destroyed. And Chile could well script the biggest story of the World Cup if they knockout the hosts. I’m very bullish about Chile. I feel they have the team to rattle the best of teams. I will go for Chile to go through with a 2-1 win!