2014 World Cup: Spain vs Chile preview

June 17, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Spain vs ChileSpain probably couldn’t even dream they would be in such a position after the first group game as the heavy defeat to Netherlands means they are likely to be eliminated unless they can defeat Chile.

And that is unlikely to be an easy task as La Roja have got more potential than they showed in the 3-1 triumph over Australia and their tenacity and pace will be very difficult to match.

It was never going to be easy for Spain to defend the World Cup title having won three major tournaments in a row, but nobody could predict what happened in their opening match.

La Furia Roja seemed to have gained control of the tie as Xabi Alonso scored from the penalty spot, but everything changed after David Silva missed a glorious opportunity to increase the lead.

Netherlands quickly got back into the game and ended up inflicting Spain with the heaviest defeat since the 1950 tournament.

La Furia Roja is far from written off after just one game, but they are under intense pressure as even a draw against Chile would probably see them crash out in group stage.

Spain remain 1.67 (2/3) favourites to return to winning ways, but they will have to work hard if they want to stay in contention for a place in the knockout stages.

Vicente Del Bosque has revealed that he will be making changes to his starting line-up, with Javi Martinez and Cesc Fabregas tipped to start.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Casillas – Azpilicueta, Martinez, Ramos, Alba – Xavi, Alonso, Iniesta – Silva, Costa, Fabregas.

Over the years Chile managed to establish themselves as one of South America’s top sides, and they performed really well at the 2010 tournament, when they progressed to the next stage alongside Spain.

La Roja have been placed against familiar opposition one more time, but it appears they will now have to battle the World Cup holders for one qualifying berth.

Despite not being at their best, Chile recorded a 3-1 triumph over Australia in their opening fixture to stay on course to the next stage, and chances are they would be perfectly happy with one point against Spain.

With that in mind, you should know La Roja are available at 2.48 (37/35) not to lose the match at the iconic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Even if there are no fresh injury worries to report, boss Jorge Sampaoli is set to make some changes, with a 3-5-2 formation set to be used against Spain.

This means that attacking midfielder Jorge Valdivia will make way for Francisco Silva, who is set to act as a sweeper.

Probable starting line-up (3-5-2): Bravo – Medel, Silva, Jara – Isla, Aranguiz, Diaz, Vidal, Mena – Vargas, Sanchez.

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