World Cup 2014: Brazil vs Chile – strengths, weaknesses and key men
A look ahead to the Last 16 encounter between these sides
Friday 27 June 2014
There is no substitute for momentum, and nothing like the momentum a host can generate at a World Cup. The atmosphere alone at the wins over Croatia and Cameroon could blow teams away.
Even though Fred scored against Cameroon, there are very legitimate doubts about whether he is good enough technically or athletically. The problem for Luis Felipe Scolari is there is no one else.
Neymar has scored four goals so far and looked entirely ready to carry the burden of the hopes of a whole nation on his shoulders. He is a special player and Brazil cannot win it without him.
Not many teams play with the intensity of Chile – they are a team of relentless little barrels of muscle – and that swarm, to say nothing of their technical and tactical skill, can overwhelm teams.
A lack of height at centre-back – Gary Medel is just 5ft 7in – makes them vulnerable to set-pieces, as the Netherlands’ Leroy Fer showed with his decisive header in Chile’s third group game.
Arturo Vidal is still clearly recovering fitness after knee surgery but on his day he is probably the best all-round midfielder in world football, linking defence and attack and dragging his side forward.
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