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We examine Chile's recent matches to determine their strengths and weaknesses ahead of a World Cup showdown with the Socceroos.

Analysis
By Iain Strachan

Germany 1-0 Chile (March 6 2014)

Watching this game as preparation for the tournament will not have been comfortable viewing for Ange Postecoglou, Ante Milicic and Aurelio Vidmar.

Chile's formation resembled 4-3-3 at kickoff before appearing to shift to a 4-4-2 diamond in the hectic opening exchanges.

Osasuna's Francisco Silva protected the back four and Arturo Vidal of Juventus supported the two forwards, Valencia's Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona, in a central attacking midfield role.

But attempting to pigeonhole Chile into a particular formation is a counterproductive exercise. Jorge Sampaoli's team are tactically flexible and demonstrate considerable positional fluidity in open play.

Their exceptional work-rate enables them to press opponents at all times when the ball is in their half, a legacy of Marcelo Bielsa's successful spell in charge between 2007 and 2011.

That high press, which worked so effectively throughout the first half, was only undone by a combination of sharp, one-touch passing, Mesut Ozil's close control inside the area and Mario Gotze's pinpoint finish for Germany's goal.

Needless to say, it is unlikely Australia will able to replicate that attacking interplay in Cuiaba. If the Socceroos want to swing crosses in to the head of Tim Cahill as they did against Ecuador, they will have to hope Chile's fullbacks, Mauricio Isla of Juve and Wigan's Jean Beausejour on the right and left respectively against Germany, are caught high up the pitch.

That's a genuine possibility given Australia are likely to be playing on the counter and considering Chile's fullbacks will be required to provide attacking width to compensate for what can be a narrow midfield and forward line.

In defence, perhaps even more so than against Spain and the Netherlands, Australia will require pace all across the backline, just one of the many reasons Postecoglou has chosen to overlook Lucas Neill and Sasa Ognenovski.

England 0-2 Chile (November 16 2013)

To illustrate the point about Chile's versatility, they lined up closer to a 4-2-3-1 against England at Wembley late last year, with Basel's Marcelo Diaz protecting the back four and Matias Fernandez of Fiorentina and Charles Aranguiz taking it in turns to support him or go forward.

In this game Beausejour was deployed as a wide attacker and Eugenio Mena played at left-back, where he was given some trouble by James Milner early on. Regardless of who starts for Chile at left-back, their propensity to get forward could create openings for an overlapping Ivan Franjic or one of Mathew Leckie, James Troisi and Ben Halloran.

Given the subdued performance of Leckie, nominally a centre-forward, in a wide attacking role against Ecuador, Troisi or Halloran could be more likely to start on the right for the Socceroos in the first game.

Set pieces in the match at Wembley should also be of interest to Postecoglou. England enjoyed two good chances from headers which Phil Jones couldn't capitalise on, and Australia are certain to be well-drilled at free-kicks and corners as potential avenues to goal against superior opposition.

But they also need to get it right when defending from dead-ball situations. Alexis Sanchez claimed Chile's opener in north London from a header, suggesting it isn't just the slick passing game and pace in attack of the South Americans the Socceroos must be worried about.

Alexis alert | The Barcelona forward is just one of Chile's attacking weapons

Brazil 2-1 Chile (November 20 2013)

Four days after beating England on their own turf, Chile tackled World Cup hosts Brazil in Toronto, and seamlessly shifted from the patient, possession-based approach they employed against the Three Lions to the high-pressing, high-tempo strategy they would use against Germany five months later.

Sampaoli got his backline to play higher up the field against the Selecao than he did against Joachim Low's side in Stuttgart. In the Germany game, the purpose of sitting deeper would have been to retain a solid defence bloc capable of interfering with their opponents' intricate passing, as Real Madrid did so successfully at home to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Against Brazil, the rationale behind pushing up was to try and pin the Confederations Cup holders back in their own half, and use the offside trap to negate the threat of Neymar and Hulk's pace in attack.

But with Chile almost certain to dominate possession against Australia, the match against ball-shy England is a better guide of what to expect against the Socceroos at the Arena Pantanal.

In a rare encouraging sign for Australia, Brazil's opening goal came when they found a man over in attack, with Chile overcommitted on the flanks. It remains to be seen whether or not the Socceroos have the pace and attacking intent, or see enough of the ball, to create similar situations, but going wide appears to be Australia's best hope.

However, as if they didn't already have enough to worry about, Postecouglou and his team should be mindful that Chile's equaliser against Brazil resulted from a combination of a long goalkick, a headed knockdown and a speculative effort from outside the area. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, and Chile are well versed in scoring all sorts of them.

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