Having all but secured their place in the Confederations Cup semi-final, Chile take on Australia in the final match of the group stage with not much than prestige to fight for.
Alexis the record-breaker
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup saw Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez become Chile’s all-time record scorer as he scored his 38th international goal after a mistake from Arsenal teammate Shkodran Mustafi in a 1-1 draw against Germany. Sanchez moved past Marcelo Salas at the goalscorers’ list in a match which saw Chile secure their place in the semi-final. The Chileans could have won the match but ran out of luck as Eduardo Vargas struck the crossbar before Lars Stindl scored in his second successive match for Germany to keep the game tied. It is both Germany and Chile who are likely to be progressing through in the competition and their last match against Australia will be a fine chance for Juan Antonio Pizzi to shuffle his deck and test several options ahead of the semi-final.
Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and Gary Medel could all be rested against Australia, with Diaz, Rodriguez and Sagal all likely to be presented with starting berths.
Brave Australian side will not be leaving Russia with their heads bowed down in disappointment and embarrassment. On the contrary, the Socceroos can be proud of the football they play. Ange Postecoglou has transformed his side into a well-organized, attack-minded unit and a team that likes to attack and dominate the play. The Socceroos bossed possession against Cameroon but failed to make most of their on-pitch dominance and the shot count of 19 to 5. Australia got punished for lack of composure in the dying moments of the first half when Zambo Andre-Frank put Cameroon upfront and the Socceroos were forced to claw back in the game, which they did at the hour mark courtesy of the penalty from Mark Milligan. Australia now need a miracle against the South American champions. Postecoglou’s men need to win by two goals, which is close to impossible and it is fair to say their Confederations Cup is as good as over.
Tim Cahill could be thrown in from the start as Socceroos look to use his experience against the quality-laden Chile side. Postecoglou is unlikely to change his formation and will once again field an attack-oriented team with Juric spearheading the front line.
Quality and experience work in Chile’s favour and Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men are likely to release the throttle a bit and go as hard as it’s needed for at least a draw against the Socceroos. We are feeling brave and we’ll predict a stormy beginning from the Chileans and a calm closure in the second half.
Top pick: Under 2.5 goals 2.38 (11/8) @Betvictor
Alternative pick 1: Draw 5.25 (17/4) @Bet365e
Alternative pick 2: Half-Time Chile/Full-Time Draw 21.00 (20/1) @Coral