Brazil face former champions Chile in a crunch quarter-final clash at the Copa America 2021 in what promises to be a real clash of the titans.
Copa America 2021 hosts Brazil ended their Group B campaign in the top spot, having overcome Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Only Venezuela were eliminated, having finished bottom. Brazil come into the quarter-final clash in top form, having scored plenty and conceded only twice in four games.
However, their form dipped slightly in the last clash against Ecuador, which ended in an uneventful 1-1 draw. The result meant Brazil could not keep up their winning run and will now rely on their big players to return to winning ways against former champions Chile.
Chile, who qualified to the quarter-final from Group A, haven’t had the best of campaigns, having limped towards reaching the next round after a fourth-place finish. Had fifth-placed Bolivia got some points on board, then Chile’s qualification would have been even more of a struggle than it seems now.
The former champions managed a solitary win in four matches, which came against the aforementioned tournament strugglers Bolivia. They lost to Paraguay but managed boring draws against Argentina and Uruguay to finish fourth and set up this crunch quarter-final clash against Brazil.
Team News & Tactics
Brazil managed only a draw to Ecuador in their final group game, in which Tite rested many of his star names. There are also no relevant injury issues in the squad, meaning Tite can field his strongest possible line-up to face Chile.
Danilo, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Casemiro, Fred, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison and Neymar could all come back into the side, as Tite made a host of changes for the final group game. The defence, in particular, could be overhauled with only Thiago Silva likely to keep his place. Marquinhos could replace goalscorer Eder Militao.
Fred and Casemiro could replace Douglas Luiz and Fabinho in midfield, while Tite could ponder a revert to a three-man midfield unit. Meaning, Lucas Paqueta could continue alongside the aforementioned duo, playing in an advanced position. Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison could continue their prolific partnership upfront. The trio would be replacing Everton, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Barbosa in those front positions.
Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, T.Silva, Sandro; Paqueta, Casemiro, Fred; Jesus, Richarlison, Neymar
While Brazil had the luxury of giving a break to their key stars, Chile couldn’t afford to rest their important players due to the importance of their last group game. Martin Lasarte will have to make some changes to his team following their dismal loss to Paraguay. The changes will be few but significant as Chile will be hoping to cause Brazil problems on the field.
Chile will be again without Alexis Sanchez, who still recovers back at home. However, Arturo Vidal will lead his sides on all fronts, alongside his experienced teammates. Guillermo Maripan, Erick Pulgar and Jean Meneses are all expected to come back into the side.
Eduardo Vargas is expected to lead the line for the side, with the likes of Vidal and Medel set to hold the fort in midfield and defence, respectively. Manager Lasarte will field a 4-3-3 formation, mirroring that of Chile’s opponents Brazil.
Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Bravo; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Mena; Vidal, Pulgar, Aranguiz; Meneses, Vargas, Brereton
Brazil – W W W W D
Chile – D D W D L
- Brazil recorded a 3-0 win in their last encounter against Chile.
- Brazil have won 12 out of their last 15 games against Chile. The Selecao have scored two or more goals in their last 13 games against Chile.
- Chile have beaten Brazil just once since 2000.
Player in Focus
Neymar, the star of this Brazilian side, will be motivated to lead his side past Chile to reach the semi-final of the tournament. The winners of this game will face either Ecuador or Paraguay; Neymar will sense that a win over their rivals could give them a rather comfortable passage into the ultimate tournament final.
Having missed the tournament’s last edition through injury, which Brazil eventually won, Neymar will be hungry to taste big tournament success in his career. With two goals so far in the tournament, the PSG superstar will be eager to add to his tally and hope his goals will be crucial enough to send Brazil through.
Arturo Vidal (Chile)
Vidal has been a key member of a Chile squad that won back-to-back Copa titles in the previous decade. There may not be another Copa America left for Vidal in the future, so he will be motivated enough to make the best of this one.
His experience and mentality will be key to help Chile navigate through the trickiness of Brazil. His performance has to be at the very top if Chile carries any hope of toppling Brazil to reach the tournament’s semi-final. He will be the man to watch for Chile when they meet Brazil.
Brazil 2-0 Chile
Chile boast some pedigree in the tournament, winning back-to-back titles in the last decade. However, their key stars have aged and have less agility to face Brazil’s challenge. Their experience undoubtedly holds immense value, especially in a clash like this, but Brazil are poised to go through in th is game. There is energy, speed, trickery and leadership in the Brazil team, and all those factors will play a role to help them topple Chile and reach the semis.