Spain v Chile – End Of The Road For La Rojas?
Spain v Chile
Chile could end Spain’s World Cup this Wednesday evening, but will the Spanish bounce back?
This is unchartered territory for Vicente Del Bosque and his all-conquering Spanish side. Prior to Friday night’s mauling by Netherlands, Del Bosque had lost only one of his 25 World Cup games, including qualifiers, as coach. That defeat also came in the opening match of a World Cup – 1-0 to Switzerland in 2010 – with La Rojas then going on to lift the trophy, but to do so this time around would require something incredibly special.
Spain didn’t just lose to the Dutch, they were taken apart in a style similar to the way we have seen Barcelona taken apart by teams in the Champions League in recent years. The death of tiki-taka football has all but been confirmed.
Chile, meanwhile, kicked off with a 3-1 win over Australia, and will be buoyed even further by the result in the Spain-Holland game that really opens the door for them. A draw here would put Chile in an authoritative position to qualify for the knockout stages.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men raced out of the blocks on Friday night and took a commanding 2-0 lead inside just 15 minutes through Alexis Sánchez and Jorge Valdívia. They were pegged back by Australia before half-time, but managed to ride out the storm and secured all three points with a late strike from Jean Beausejour.
The South Americans are now priced at just 4/6 to qualify for the last 16, with Spain a slightly bigger 10/11 due in some part to their significantly inferior goal difference.
Iker Casillas has reportedly apologised to his teammates for his dreadful performance in the defeat to Holland. And having been defended in the media by Del Bosque it seems that he will retain his place in the starting XI. If he was to be replaced then third choice Pepe Reina would have to be the man drafted in after David de Gea picked up a leg injury that will rule him out of the group stages at least.
Arturo Vidal was named in the Chilean starting XI against Australia just five weeks after undergoing knee surgery. The Juventus midfielder played 60 minutes of the game before being substituted but can be expected to go back into the first team here.
The two nations last met as recently as September of last year and the two sides couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw. Roberto Soldado and Jesus Navas scored Spain’s goals, with Eduardo Vargas getting both for the South Americans.
We must expect some sort of reaction from Spain, but at odds of 4/6 for the win I wouldn’t want to be parting with my money. Chile are probably a good value bet at odds of 4/1, but, given that the Draw would be a favourable result it makes sense to play the Chile-Draw selection at odds of 11/10 in the Double Chance market.
Like his Barcelona teammate Neymar, Alexis Sanchez comes to life in front of goal for his national side and prospers playing the style of football that his national team dictates.
At odds of 15/2 to score first and 2/1 to net anytime, Sanchez is a good value bet in the goalscorer markets.