Chile v Australia: Chile need Arturo Vidal fit to get them moving and keep pressure on Spain and Netherlands in the hunt for progression

A win over Australia is a must for Chile if they are to challenge the top-two for a place in the last-16

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The Independent Football

There were no surprises about the main topic discussion on the eve of Chile v Australia, but there remained some alarm about the subject.

LIVE: The latest news on Day 2, including Cameroon v Mexico, Spain v Netherlands and Chile v Australia

The fitness of injured midfielder Arturo Vidal offered the headlines, and he could yet settle the game. Chilean manager Jorge Sampaoli acknowledged there is a chance he could start, despite the Juventus star having only played 15 minutes since undergoing knee surgery at the end of his club's victorious Serie A campaign.

It would be a shame if Vidal did not appear.

This match may be very much the secondary fixture in Group B after Holland v Spain, but there is a strong argument that the 27-year-old is second to nobody in the world in terms of central midfield qualities.

Sampaoli even revealed his qualities while discussing Vidal’s chances of being fit.

“Of course, there is an athletic side to him. If he was not as strong, he would not be at this level. We hope he will be able to play.”


So should the rest of the world. Vidal is a truly unique midfielder, and one of that rare breed that can make a central area look so overmanned simply by virtue of his sensational movement.

In that regard, it is no surprise that Manchester United have been so heavily linked with him. He would instantly solve so many of their central midfield problems.

For the moment, Chile must overcome the problem of getting him on the pitch. It could be key. His mobility has always been central - in so many senses - to their admirable pace of play, and the feeling remains they may need that extra edge to get a result against Australia. Given the nature of this group, they also need that result.

Anything less than a win would immediately take the pressure off Spain and Holland, given that Australia are not considered as credible a challenge for a top-two spot.

Chile need Vidal to get moving, in order to get them moving.