Chile vs Australia – Sunday 16:00BST/17:00 CEST – Spartak Stadium – Moscow, Russia.
Australia will be eliminated from the tournament unless they defeat Chile on Sunday at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Chile in the meantime simply need a draw against the Socceroos to advance.
Given Chile’s performances at this tournament, it seems unlikely that Australia can upset the apple cart. La Roja have been effective against Cameroon on matchday 1 and then played well-organized football against a youthful German national team on matchday 2. With four points in the bag, Chile are now in a comfortable position to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Portugal are favourites to finish Group A in first place Chile will want to win the game against Australia to avoid a semi-final matchup against the European champions. Hence, it is expected that Chile will field a full-strength lineup to come out on top in a potential long-distance shootout against Germany, who are playing Cameroon in the other group stage match.
Chile will therefore likely turn back to their more offensive lineup from the Cameroon game. Against Cameroon Chile lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Edson Puch, Eduardo Vargas and José Pedro Fuenzalida up front. Sánchez, who started the first game against Cameroon of the bench as he was still struggling with a minor injury, will replace Puch.
The aggressive lineup will likely cause chaos in Australia’s backline, which struggled heavily against Germany and Cameroon. Hence, the Socceroos will be in for a rough ride against the Copa América champions.
Chile vs Australia – Players to look out for:
Alexis Sánchez #7 Chile
Alexis Sánchez seems disgruntled at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament. Hiding behind several players while racing through the mixed zone following the match against Cameroon on matchday 2 Sánchez avoided any possible controversial answers on VAR and his future at Arsenal. The same procedure followed after matchday 2 against Germany where he responded to a question about a possible move to Bayern with a smile and a quick no. On the field, his demeanour is also a mix of determination and dissatisfaction. But in reality, Sánchez has every reason to be happy with his performance at this tournament. The attacking midfielder was instrumental on matchday 1 to break the deadlock against Cameroon with his wonderful cross that was converted by Arturo Vidal. Then on matchday 2, he scored the opening goal against Germany. The goal against Germany was, in fact, the 400th goal in the competition and his 38th goal in the national team, which means he has past Marcelo Salas as Chile’s record goal scorer.
Matthew Leckie #7 – Australia
Matthew Leckie is part of an Australia setup that is looking for a new identity. Under Ange Postecoglou Australia have moved away from four at the back towards a 3-4-3/3-5-2 formation. The switch has meant that Leckie, who recently moved from relegated FC Ingolstadt 04 to Europa League qualifiers Hertha Berlin, has been forced to play out wide in midfield. Not always the most dangerous player in front of the goal Leckie’s move to the wing allows him to use his speed and his abilities to set up his teammates more effectively.
Chile vs Australia – Match Stats
- Chile have faced Australia on six previous occasions.
- In six matches La Roja have a record of four wins, one draw, and one defeat.
- Chile’s only defeat to Australia came at the 1987 Presidents Cup, which took place in South Korea.
- The two countries last faced each other at the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the game ended with a 3-1 victory for Chile.
Prediction: Chile vs Australia 3-1
Chile vs Australia – Possible Lineups
Herrera – Beausejour, Jara, P. Diaz, Isla –M. Diaz, Vidal, Aranguiz – Sánchez, Vargas, Fuenzalida
Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi
Ryan – Degenek, Sainsbury, Wright – Gersbach, Milligan, Mooy, Leckie – Kruse, Rogic, Juric
Coach: Ange Postecoglou
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.