Brazil vs. Chile: Tactical Preview of World Cup Round-of-16 Match

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJune 28, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 18: Marcelo Diaz of Chile controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Chile at Maracana on June 18, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The FIFA World Cup 2014 knockout stages have arrived, with 16 teams exiting at the group stage and the rest left to fight it out for the ultimate prize.

Here we analyse Brazil vs. Chile, a match that could quite possibly be the best knockout contest of them all.



Croatia and Mexico proved testing opposition, but Chile are a different animal altogether.

The Selecao need to be on top form to topple La Roja, and the encouraging thing is their performance against Cameroon was by far their best yet.


With Neymar on the left, Oscar central and Hulk right, coach Felipe Scolari has his best possible attacking lineup in a comfortable, free-flowing shell. Messing with it was a mistake, and it's just a relief he realised the error of his ways during the easier group-stage games.

Fernandinho will probably come in for the underperforming Paulinho, who had 235 minutes to prove he belonged and wasted every single one. 



Chile defied the odds and qualified from Group B, defeating Spain convincingly in their second game to seal the achievement.

Those judging La Roja without Arturo Vidal are making a serious error, as the Juventus man is the one who turns this team from a good one into a great one. He's an injury concern, per ESPNFC, but will play despite not being at 100 percent.


Gary Medel is also a worry, and losing him would be a bitter blow. Francisco Silva has looked a little ropy at times since coming into the side, and free agent Gonzalo Jara isn't one to hang your hat on.

In this case, attack may well be the best form of defence.


Tactical Clashes

1. Chile's Right versus Brazil's Left

"It's not that we want to follow Neymar everywhere he goes, but we respect him deeply," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli told reporters ahead of the game, via ESPNFC"We will be very difficult and we will follow him and try to stop him."

Chile's right versus Brazil's left—Mauricio Isla and Alexis Sanchez versus Marcelo and Neymar—is an intriguing two vs. two. The sheer energy and counterattacking threat La Roja possess could catch the Selecao short, with Sanchez, Isla and Vidal coming over, capable of slipping in behind.

Neymar found great joy from the left against Cameroon; can Sampaoli devise an efficient plan to stop him?


2. Pressing

Chile were one of the only sides that successfully stifled Colombia during World Cup qualifying, and they did so by pressing high and shutting off the supply to James Rodriguez and Co.

OK, it's easier to push Abel Aguilar and Carlos Sanchez into mistakes than it is Fernandinho, but if Scolari's men aren't ready to deal with pressure in their faces, they're not getting out of their own half.

We've already established that Chile can do it for 90 minutes. Now, Big Phil needs a diversion plan.


Bleacher Report 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.