Brazil v Chile - Key Battles: How will Manchester United target fare?

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Ahead of Brazil’s clash against Chile in the last 16 of the World Cup, here are three key battles to look out for.

Neymar v Gary Medel

If Chile are to progress to the quarter-finals, then they will need to stop Neymar, who showed his dazzling footwork and skill against Cameroon and is currently joint leading goalscorer at the World Cup. The 22-year-old doesn’t only bring goals, but a style of play to the Brazil team which gives them back that flair they have so dearly missed.

Cardiff City defender Medel won’t be the strongest defender Neymar has come up against in terms of skill and pace, but physically the Chilean is superior. Medel simply won’t match Neymar when it comes to speed of movement so it’s crucial that he times his tackle to perfection and uses his strength to force the Barcelona forward off the ball.

Alexis Sanchez v Daniel Alves

The Chilean, who has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs including Manchester United, is getting better and better in this tournament and will be key to Chile’s chances of progressing through to the quarter-finals. Sanchez's speed, agility and runs off the ball make him a menacing opponent, and he will need to get past fellow Barcelona teammate Daniel Alves.

Alves has had a poor tournament so far; it’s as if his pace has been missing, and for such a fast player, this is surprising. On several occasions, he has slacked tracking back and been too slow off the mark to catch his man. It was evident during Cameroon’s goal.

If Alves so much as drops off in this match, you can be sure Sanchez will be there to capitalise on it.

Fred v Gonzalo Jara

After two disappointing performances, Fred managed to silence the critics with a great display, setting up one and scoring another against Cameroon. The 30-year-old has to bring this form to the Chile game because if he falters, then he will just fizzle out of the game.

Former West Bromwich Albion defender Jara has had a good season with Nottingham Forrest and has brought his form to the World Cup. With fine displays so far, he will need to produce the same to stop Fred and the other Brazil attackers.

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