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WC Qualification South America

  • October 17, 2012
  • • 01:05
  • • Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos, Santiago de Chile
  • Referee: A. Arias
  • • Attendance: 45000
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Chile - Argentina Preview: Beleaguered hosts look for joy against Albiceleste

Chile - Argentina Preview: Beleaguered hosts look for joy against Albiceleste

Messi y Sabella

A loss for the home side could well mean the end of Claudio Borghi's spell at the helm, but they will have to be at their best against a team hoping to finish 2012 unbeaten

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHILE

Pinto
Jara, Martinez, Matias Gonzalez
Isla, Medel, Fernandez, Mark Gonzalez
Alexis, Pinto, Beausejour

ARGENTINA

Romero

Campagnaro, Garay, Fernandez, Zabaleta
Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria
Messi, Higuain, Aguero


Needing a victory arguably to save his position as Chile coach after falling to Ecuador in the last round, Claudio Borghi will gamble on all-out attack to try and overcome his nation of birth and the current World Cup qualifying leaders in the Conmebol section. The hosts are boosted by the return of Gary Medel in midfield, while Mark Gonzalez is likely to start on the left behind Jean Beausejour, who will be pushed forward into attack.

Marcos Rojo is the only player to miss out for Argentina following an injury sustained in the storming 3-0 win over Uruguay. The full-back will be replaced by Hugo Campagnaro, who will move to the right flank, while Pablo Zabaleta is set to play on the left. Gonzalo Higuain, meanwhile, suffered a knock in Mendoza but is expected to start on Tuesday.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Argentina have faced Chile 83 times, winning 55 of their encounters while losing only six.
  • The Albiceleste have an enviable record so far in 2012, recording six victories out of seven, with only Peru taking a draw off Alejandro Sabella's men.
  • Lionel Messi's double against Uruguay took the Barcelona man to 30 international goals, as well as a share of the Conmebol scoring charts alongside Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain (all on six strikes).
  • A hat-trick against Chile would see 'La Pulga' draw level with idol Diego Maradona, who netted 33 times in 91 appearances.
  • A 3-1 reverse at the hands of Ecuador means Chile now lie in fifth place in the Conmebol standings, which would mean a play-off to confirm their World Cup place should they stay in the same position. 
  • The Roja will hope to avoid a repeat of the last time they met Argentina; a 4-1 thrashing back in 2011 for the first match of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
  • Claudio Borghi's men are the only side yet to record a draw in the first half of the campaign, winning four and losing four of their first eight outings.
  • The current squad includes three teenagers yet to win a cap, all products of the Universidad de Chile youth system; striker Angelo Henriquez (now at Manchester United), defender Igor Lichnovsky and midfielder Sebastian Martinez.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
Alexis Sánchez
Alexis Sánchez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
10 4 3 0
Impressing at the moment with Barcelona, the young South American star must find a way to translate his club form into international colours and inspire his team to a vital victory. Sound familiar to anyone?
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
14 10 0 0
Dragged his team to victory in the final stages against Uruguay with two brilliantly-taken goals. Inching towards Diego Maradona's international tally, and who would bet against him equalling it in Santiago with a hat-trick?
Prediction
Facing a Chile side that is divided and in severe disarray, the onus is on the away team to continue their excellent recent form and deliver a comfortable victory in Santiago.
Editor's Prediction
Chile 1

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