Chile vs. Australia: Film Focus Previewing World Cup Group B Match

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Chile vs. Australia: Film Focus Previewing World Cup Group B Match
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 finally underway, we bring you the next in an in-depth series of match previews that centre on tactics, team selections and predicted XIs.

With Group A's fixtures in the books, we turn our attention to Group B where Chile do battle with Australia.

 

How Chile Will Shape Up

Chile play a style of football few others can replicate, combining furious pressing in advanced areas with slick passing and raw athleticism.

They play out of a base 4-3-3/3-4-3 formation with energetic wing-backs and a possession-heavy midfield. Their forward runners, Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez, manipulate space superbly and pick their spots to help balance the team out.

B/R TeamStream
Probable Chile XI. Possible changes: Gonzalez for Jara, Carmona/Gutierrez for Beausejour

If something isn't working, manager Jorge Sampaoli will change things with no hesitation. He made two substitutions in 22 minutes against Brazil last November in order to rectify a balance issue following Marcelo Diaz's injury.

 

How Australia Will Shape Up

Australia dispensed with Holger Osieck after they were floored 6-0 by France in a World Cup warm-up late last year. His uninspired style of play and stubborn stance got the Socceroos nowhere.

Ange Postecoglu, therefore, has inherited a pressure-free situation and a free pass at the finals. Nothing he can do will be worse than Osieck, and he's making good strides in the right direction.

B/R TeamStream
Possible Australia XI. Possible changes: Oar & Bresciano out, Vidosic & Halloran in

He's revamped the setup, preaching a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 setup that's primarily possession-based. The full-backs are ball-hungry, the technical playmakers are in and the attacks are becoming more composed. 

The World Cup, this year, has come too soon for a nation in the very early stages of a complete and utter revamp. Postecoglu knows his troops aren't ready to carry his principles onto the pitch and win with them, but their eyes are on tournaments of the future.

 

Three Tactical Clashes

1. Possession Under Stress

Postecoglu preaches a strong possession game, but this Australia team are young, inexperienced and low on overall quality.

With Chile renowned for pressing high up the pitch and bringing high energy to matches, the question becomes whether or not the Socceroos' strategy will completely wilt under intensity and pressure.

Jorge Sampaoli will instruct his men to go for the jugular; how will Australia adjust and react?

 

2. Odd Front Three versus Suspect Back Four

Chile play largely without a recognised striker, instead using a No. 10 who drifts forward into space created by two unorthodox wide forwards.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

This will be an alien prospect to much of Australia's XI, and it will be key in deciding how quickly (if at all) they yield to la Roja's attacking forces. The full-backs won't face regular runs and movement, and the centre-backs, for long periods, may have no one to mark.

Matthew Spiranovic, the Socceroos' most experienced defender, has one hell of a job on his hands.

 

3. Counter the Only Hope

This will be a true attack-versus-defence matchup, perhaps the first real one of the tournament.

Australia are highly likely to come out with less than 30 percent possession, and must shrink the pitch and zones they operate in and use them to their advantage.

Mile Jedinak can be a wrecking bull in the tackle, and if he can lure Chile's lightweight ball-carriers out of their comfort zones by sitting deep, he can strike and release the pacey Tommy Oar on the counter. 

 

B/R will do a tactical preview and review of every single 2014 FIFA World Cup game. Stay tuned to this link and check it every day for more.

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