Chile vs Northern Ireland preview

June 4, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Uruguay vs Northern IrelandHaving come from two goals behind to defeat Egypt, Chile will be looking to record another morale-boosting victory when they host Northern Ireland in Valparaiso.

Meanwhile, the Irish gave a good account of themselves in the 1-0 loss to Uruguay, but they now face another very difficult fixture.

Chile haven’t had a lot of success since the third-place finish at the 1962 World Cup, but La Roja did well to progress from the group stage on their last two appearances at the tournament finals.

And even though they have been placed in a very strong group this time out, Jorge Sampaoli’s charges are hoping to enjoy a successful tournament in Brazil.

Chile did not impress in their first warm-up game, having conceded two early goals against Egypt, but they showed a lot of character to record a 3-2 win in the end.

And with Northern Ireland not exactly worthy opponents, La Roja are 1.29 (2/7) with Betfed to extend their winning run.

Key midfielder Arturo Vidal continues to miss out through a knee problem, but there are no other worries for Jorge Sampaoli.

Probable starting line-up (3-4-1-2): Bravo – Medel, Jara, Mena – Isla, Carmona, Diaz, Beausejour – Valdivia – Pinilla, Sanchez.

Northern Ireland have failed to qualify for a major tournament since 1986, and the poor run does not look like ending any time soon.

The Irish have been utterly disappointing of late, winning just 3 of last 41 fixtures in all competitions, meaning any positive result will be considered a major boost for boss Michael O’Neill and his side.

Following the goalless draw with Cyprus in March, Northern Ireland produced a good defensive performance in weekend’s defeat to Uruguay and they will have something to build on when they take on Chile.

However, with the Irish failing to score in four of last five matches, there is a good value in backing La Roja to keep a clean sheet at 1.67 (2/3).

While a number of star players missed the South American tour altogether, Chris Baird is likely to be unavailable as well as he has a tonsillitis.

Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Carroll – C. McLaughlin, Hughes, McCulloch, Ferguson – McGinn, Davis, Norwood, Clingan, McKay – Evans.

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