World Cup Preview: Chile vs. Switzerland

Chile played Honduras in their last game and won 1-0, whileSwitzerland pulled off one of the biggest upsets of 2010 World Cup so far, by beating Spain 1-0. So, both Chile and Switzerland sit at the top of Group H with 3 points, making them the best teams in the group that also features tournament favourites Spain! A win for either of the teams today, will all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

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Ranking: 18

Chile was one of the few teams in the World Cup who impressed in their very first game. They played a very attacking game and ran Honduras ragged. The 1-0 scoreline doesn’t seem to do justice to what was an incredibly entertaining and very convincing display by Marcelo Bielsa team. Chile play almost the same brand of football attractive and attacking football as Spain and they will look to dominate possession with  Humberto Suazo and Jean Beausejour leading their attack.Chilean midfielder Alexis Sanchez, who was very impressive in the game against Honduras will look to test the Swiss with his dribbles down the wing and  long-range shots. Mauricio Isla and Gary Medel will provide a defensive shield for Chile with Waldo Ponce and Arturo Vidal covering the wings. Even through a draw in today’s game would not see Chile out of the competition, they wouldn’t want to go into their last game against Spain (who will beat Honduras)  level on points.

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Ranking: 24

Switzerland play a highly organised defensive game and having kept Spain from scoring in their first match, you know that they are good at the game they play. They will know exactly what to expect from Chile as the Chileans game is very similar to that of the Spaniards. However, unlike Spain, Chile will not become complacent. Switzerland having already gotten 3 points from a game from which no one really expected them to salvage even one would want to win today to all but secure their position in the last 16. Ottmar Hitzfeld will once again put out a very defensive 4-2-3-1 formation with the excellent Diego Benaglio in goal with defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner, Stephane Grichting and Steve Von Bergen replacing the injured Philippe Sendoros. Switzerland’s midfielders Gokhan Inler and Tranquillo Barnetta will look to support their defenders to keep the Chileans at bay. Stikers Eren Derdiyok and Blaise Nkufo will most likely lead the attack for Switzerland even though Alexander Frei has recovered from injury. Valon Behrami has also recovered from injury and he might be on the bench for the Swiss.

Spain are not easy to contain but Chile might prove harder to contain for the Swiss. However,  both these teams do what they do very well and might cancel each other out.

Manager Speak

“The Swiss victory was very valuable to them, and you should give credit to Switzerland for that rather than taking it away from Spain.” – Marcelo Bielsa, Chile manager

“Chile is a team that’s extremely dangerous, they’re also very aggressive when it comes to forward play, more aggressive than Spain even, so we’ve got to reinforce our defense work, we have to be more concentrated in order not to concede a goal. – Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Chile: Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo

Switzerland: Eren Derdiyok, Diego Benaglio, Blaise Nkufo

Go Figure!

Switzerland have failed to win their four matches against South American sides in the World Cup (three defeats and one draw)

Chile have failed to win their last eight World Cup fixtures against European sides (five defeats and three draws)


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