In our Chile preview, we look ahead to Chile’s opportunity to win back-to-back Copa America tournaments as well as previewing the squad, predicting how well they’ll do and sharing the squad and schedule information.
Manager: Juan Antonio Pizzi
Captain: Claudio Bravo
Chile preview: Squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Claudio Bravo (Barcelona, ESP), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Christopher Toselli (Universidad Católica, CHI)
DEFENDERS (7): Jean Beausejour (Colo-Colo, CHI), Paulo Díaz (San Lorenzo, ARG), José Pedro Fuenzalida (Universidad Católica, CHI), Mauricio Isla (Marseille, FRA), Gonzalo Jara (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Gary Medel (Inter Milan, ITA), Eugenio Mena (São Paulo, BRA), Enzo Roco (Espanyol, ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Charles Aránguiz (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Marcelo Díaz (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Mark González (Sport Recife, BRA), Pedro Pablo Hernández (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich, GER), Erick Pulgar (Bologna, ITA), Francisco Silva (Chiapas, MEX)
FORWARDS (6): Nicolás Castillo (Universidad Católica, CHI), Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Maurico Pinilla (Atalanta, ITA), Edson Puch (LDU Quito, ECU), Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal, ENG), Eduardo Vargas (Hoffenheim, GER)
Chile preview: Overview:
The reigning champions will be a little frustrated they can’t enjoy that mantle for a few more years after securing their maiden major honour last summer. However, this determined group of footballers will be desperate to show they have the traits to defend this title away from home.
Chile were superb in the 2015 tournament, as Jorge Sampaoli’s vision of a team playing attractive, intense and effective football came to fruition in full. Their win in the final against Argentina, after Alexis Sanchez’s decisive penalty, sparked scenes of joy across this fanatical football nation. They should be buoyed coming into this competition wearing the champions tag.
There have been changes since that memorable triumph, the most crucial being a different manager. Pizzi has taken over from the popular Sampaoli, who left the position to take on new challenges. But the new man hasn’t altered too much from the successful formula instilled by his predecessor, with few big surprises in his preliminary squad.
Nevertheless, retaining this title is going to be a huge challenge. While La Roja are a team capable of adapting their style of play for different opponents and settings, their stunning support was a massive asset in 2015, boosting the men in red and intimidating opponents. Plenty of fans will travel to the States for this one, but it won’t carry quite the same clout.
Chile still have match-winners in their ranks, especially in Bravo, Sanchez, defender-come-midfielder Gary Medel and Bayern Munich’s unrelenting Arturo Vidal. If Pizzi can keep that core intact throughout the competition then they’ll always have a chance of winning matches.
Their opening game is against Argentina, a clash in which Chile can make a massive statement. Sampaoli’s influence will be missed, though, and with Sanchez shy of his best, Bravo showing signs of age and tireless midfielder Charles Aranguiz missing almost the entire season due to injury, they aren’t quite as well prepared as 12 months ago.
Chile preview: Group Fixtures:
Monday, June 6
Friday, June 10
Tuesday, June 14
Chile preview: Key Player:
Alexis Sanchez – After his dogged exploits for La Roja last summer, Sanchez began the 2015-16 season jaded for Arsenal. Since, he’s never quite recaptured the spark he showed in his debut term at the club, which he carried into the Copa America.
Of course, there have been flashes of raw quality from Sanchez and some signs towards the back end of the campaign he’s beginning to reach his peak form again. But for Chile to perform at their maximum they need their star forward to be at full tilt, setting the ferocious tempo at which they love to play their football.
Sanchez will always be a pest to opposition defenders, regardless of whether things are going his way with the ball at his feet in the final third. La Roja need more than just nuisance value if they’re going to make it two major tournament wins in as many summers, though.
Chile preview: Verdict:
Quarter-Finals – Pizzi has an unenviable task taking over from Sampaoli and will have only overseen four matches in charge before their campaign kicks off against Argentina. So while the same basic structure remains in place, it’s going to be very difficult for the new man to impinge his own ideas.
The holders will comfortably make it through to the knockout stages, but there’s been a vulnerability about them in World Cup qualifying and that’ll hinder a successful defence of their crown in the States.
Chile home jersey
The jersey Chile will wear as they go after another Copa America. The red jersey pays tribute to team’s nickname, La Roja. The sides of the jersey has blue stripes on the sides. Includes official Chile team badge. The jersey boasts Nike’s Dri-FIT technology. 100% polyester.
Find out how to order the Chile home jersey today.
Chile away jersey
The jersey Chile will wear as they go after another Copa America. The red stripe along the collar pays tribute to team’s nickname, La Roja. The sides of the jersey have blue stripes. Includes official Chile team badge. The jersey boasts Nike DriFit technology. 100% polyester.
Find out how to order the Chile away jersey today.
Read all of the Copa America team previews
• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview
If you have any questions about the Chile preview, let us know in the comments section below.
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