Chile v Australia preview – Socceroos’ hopes pinned on Crystal Palace star

Alexis Sanchez Chile

Chile will want to make an instant impact on their goal difference, while Australia will be playing for pride.

To be played on Friday 13th June 2014 at 23:00. Venue: Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba.

Odds: Chile 4/11, Draw 7/2, Australia 10/1

Preview & injury news

Chile will be viewed as dark horses at the World Cup, and it won’t be a surprise to see Spain and the Netherlands looking nervously over their shoulders. The Australia players know that they have a tough group and will be giving it their all to make their country proud.

Jorge Sampaoli's Chile have risen in the FIFA rankings 70 places to 14th in the last 10 years and have shown lethal form. Take their 2-0 win at Wembley for instance, when Alexis Sanchez tore apart the England defence to grab an impressive brace.

The Socceroos tasted harsh defeat in a friendly against France in October losing 6-0 - this saw an end to Holger Osieck's reign as the head coach. Andre Postecoglou has since taken over and it will be interesting to see what type of mentality he adopts going into this game.

It’s safe to say that Postecoglou will be relying heavily on the influences of Tim Cahill and Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak to lift the Aussie side. Chile will be used to the humid conditions and will know that this group could come down to goal difference, so they will want to take advantage and bag as many goals as possible.

Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal has been experiencing some knee trouble and will face a late fitness test.

Key stats

1) Australia have only ever won two games at the World Cup.

2) Claudio Bravo is Chile’s second-most capped player of all time with 79 - five behind Leonel Sanchez.

3) Chile scored a total of 29 goals in 16 matches during qualifying, only second behind Argentina

Five players to watch

Alexis Sanchez - Rapid, strong with excellent ball control. Australia will have every right to be concerned when they see Sanchez running at their defence.

Tim Cahill - Despite a move to the MLS, Cahill still poses a threat, noticeably in the air. Australia will try to use that to their advantage as much as possible.

Arturo Vidal - No wonder every big club has been linked with the 27-year-old. A true box-to-box player with bags of stamina, he can shoot from long range and can tackle. Expect goals in Brazil from this man.

Mile Jedinak - Having enjoyed a resurgence with Palace in the latter stages of the 2013-14 Premier League season, Jedinak will look to bring that same form into the World Cup.

Gary Medal - Tasting relegation with Cardiff City would have been sour, but Medal was a standout player for the Bluebirds. He will now be surrounded by far superior players where he can produce better team performances and will still be an excellent addition to the team.

Last time they met

Chile 2-1 Australia, February 2000

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