Likely waiting Holland in the quarters will be Brazil, setting up a mouth watering repeat of their classic 1994 encounter in USA. Luckily for the audience, Chile were done a great favour by hapless Honduras, so instead of watching dull Switzerland set out their stall, the livewire Chileans take their deserved place in the final 16.
Chile beating Brazil would be a major upset, but the performances from their team stands the footballing nation in good stead for the coming years. Spain never looked on top until David Villa’s wonderfully taken first effort kind of took the wind out of Chile’s sails, with a further (not) red card damaged their chances against a top side. Still, they weren’t pushed over, losing by a respectable score.
It is hard to look past a Brazil victory though, they have looked very comfortable in their games thus far. I would expect Luis Fabiano to increase his scoring tally some time in this competition, and i don’t see a submission in this side synonymous with the trials of four years ago. Brazil can play on the counter attack if needs be.
That Brazil have historically dominated encounters against their fellow South Americans will be of little surprise. What’s more interesting is how well Chile have done in this tournament as a strong attacking unit and how frustrated Brazil were against a Portuguese side that played almost exclusively on the counter.
Brazil are in an impossible situation at this World Cup – lose and all the hard work done by Dunga in the last few years in building a winning Brazil side will be overlooked, win and their 6th World Cup title (out of 19 played) will be tarnished by critics accusing Brazil of abandoning their ‘heritage’.
Brazil have looked a bit below their usual selves but that’s also part of the perception about Brazil that they must beat each team 4-0 or 5-0 to have it look like a satisfactory performance. It’s the same with Spain, the other pre-tournament favourites, and as we’ve seen quite clearly time and time again, the smaller teams always make it difficult for the best teams to play their usual way, it’s how they avoid getting a thrashing, and in the process Brazil looks weaker than they actually are.
A few people questioned Chile’s temperament at the highest level of football before the start of the tournament but there has always been the feeling that if they can hold it together, they’re a competitive force in international football, and they’ve showed that in their three group games so far. Of course, they know all about Brazil and won’t need any extra motivation to beat them, but coming into this game on the basis of consistently good performances will help them.
Brazil v Chile Betting Tip
Brazil are a good value at 3.91 to be drawing at half-time and winning the game. Click here to bet on this and other World Cup games.
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Also See: Soccerlens’ 2010 World Cup Second Round Preview.