Argentina vs Chile promises to be a thrilling World Cup Qualifying match. The host are unbeaten in their last 11 contests, while the visitors have only managed to win three of their previous eleven matches.
HISTORY: Argentina holds the all-time series lead 61-23-8. Their last meeting in September of 2019 was a draw.
Chile currently sits at sixth in the standings, as they’ve only been able to secure one victory from the lighter side of the table. With a pair of matches against both Brazil and Ecuador still left to play, they need to find some sort of cohesion and form this Thursday. After missing the 2018 World Cup, a second exclusion would be crushing.
Argentina’s form has them sitting atop the World Cup Qualifying standings, two points back from Brazil. The 2014 World Cup Final loss to Germany has to still lingers, and this may represent Leo Messi’s last chance to bring home the big one. Before La Albiceleste sets their eyes on the WC trophy, they will try to secure the Copa America Championship.
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Chile: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: Bravo; Isla, Diaz, Maripan, Beausejour; Pulgar, Aranguiz; Pinares, Sanchez, Vargas; Brereton
Reinaldo Ruedo’s side was hit with a huge blow, as longtime cog Arturo Vidal will miss the match due to testing positive for coronavirus. La Roja will have the blessing of having two of their most capped players available in forward Alexis Sanchez (136) and Claudio Bravo (127th).
Sanchez should retain his usual number 10 role, while trophy-winning, Gremio gunner Cesar Pinares looks slated to join him in the wings.
Without Vidal, La Roja won’t have a key component in their midfield. Vidal is one of the best holding midfielders in the world, and with potent stars like Leo Messi and Angel Di Maria roaming the pitch, his two-way ability will be sorely missed. It will alter how Martin Lasarte’s squad approaches this match. Leverkusen midfielder Charles Aranguiz will start in his spot.
Chile will count heavily on Alexis Sanchez in this one. Argentina is no brick wall defensively, but La Roja will have to capitalize on their opportunities because they’re going in undermanned and potentially overmatched. A loss here would be troubling for their World Cup hopes.
Argentina: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: E.Martinez; Montiel, Martinez Quarta, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Di Maria, Paredes, De Paul, Acuna; L.Martinez, Messi
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has put together a talented squad this summer, headed by none other than Lionel Messi. The 6x Ballon d’Or winner had another sensational season at Barcelona, nearly winning La Liga after a season in dismay.
Messi will be joined by Serie A winning striker Lautaro Martinez up front. La Albiceleste will be without Sergio Aguero, but there’s still an abundance of attacking talent, even with talented forwards such as PSG’s Mauro Icardi and Juventus’ Paulo Dybala not being called up.
Argentina’s 4-4-2 should thrive against a Chile team. The PSG duo of Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes will lead the midfield. Di Maria will be making his 104 appearances, and behind Messi, he’s La Albiceleste’s most important player.
A lack of experience in the backline for La Albiceleste may factor into this one as Atalanta defender Cristian Romero and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez will make their debuts.
Argentina vs Chile Prediction & Pick
Two of South America’s best teams will collide to open what should be a spicy summer. Copa America is right around the corner and Argentina will head into as contenders to win it all.
They’ve been in great form, they enter this summer with clarity and an abundance of options. Chile doesn’t have much of either right now. With Vidal set to miss this one, and potentially the next WC qualifier, La Roja needs to show signs of optimism here.
They enter overmatched, and their recent form gives no sign that they will hold up against a superior Argentina front line. Bet on Argentina to open up their summer with a win, and potentially both teams to score.
Prediction: Argentina 3 Chile 1