The Estadio Maracana will host a clash between two South American heavyweights as Chile and Uruguay face off in their final Group C outing for this year’s Copa America. Both sides look set to qualify for the next stage of the tournament with Chile impressing fans during their opener with Japan, and Uruguay took an underwhelming point versus Japan last time out despite beginning with a thorough seeing off of Ecuador. Victory for Uruguay here would ensure their spot at the summit of the Group C standings, but should they slip up it is guaranteed that their opponents will take full advantage.
Coming into a major international tournament as champions is always difficult, particularly when the star player of your side has endured a horrendous season at club level. That is the situation Chile found themselves in before stepping foot on the Estadio Morumbi turf in their opening encounter with Japan, one of two nations invited from Asia to take part in this summer. Alexis Sanchez was one of the stand-out individuals for Chile in 2016, but following his below-par campaign with Manchester United there were some uncertainties regarding his fitness and arguably his motivation. Any doubts were dashed in the meeting with the Japanese though as the attacker bagged a goal and provided one assist within a minute, helping his side to a 4-0 thrashing of the Asia Cup finalists. That result could prove crucial come the final day of the group stages, with Uruguay failing to pick up maximum points from their affair with Japan and goal difference surely a factor. As they prepare to face off with Luis Suarez and co, Chile will know that they have everything necessary to do the job.
Uruguay enjoyed a seamless run up to the Copa America this year, not conceding a single goal in any of the three warm up matches versus Uzbekistan, Thailand and Paname while netting ten themselves. This could be the final time we see Edinson Cavani, Diego Godin and Suarez in the light blue shirts of their country during a major international competition, and all three individuals were on top form in their first game against Ecuador. The PSG forward grabbed the second after Jose Quinteros was sent off, reducing the opposition to ten men with only twenty-four minutes played. Former Liverpool man Suarez notched his first of the Copa America on the stroke of half time and an own goal from Arturo Mina solidified a 4-0 win. The matchup versus Japan was not as easy, however, with Miyoshi putting the Asian side in front, followed by an equaliser from the spot from Suarez. Fifteen minutes after the break the Japanese took the lead again, Miyoshi stunning onlookers with his second of the tie. Jose Gimenez forced his side back into the affair with a glancing header, but in the end, as Suarez said after the game, it feels rather bittersweet from their point of view.
Chile will probably see no reason to change from their usual 4-3-3 formation, with Sanchez, Vargas and Jose Fuenzalida as the attacking trio and Arturo Vidal, Erick Pulgar and Charles Aranguiz sitting behind in midfield. If they were to change anything, there could be an argument made that there are better options from the bench than Fuenzalida, although a switch is unlikely. Vidal is another one who may be forced to sit this one out due to a thigh problem, though he should be ready in time to start and if not, he will definitely be available as a substitute.
In their opener versus Ecuador, Uruguay went for a 4-3-1-2 line up which worked perfectly, with the only downside being that their midfielders didn’t have the best of matches and Nahitan Nandez was hooked off after the hour mark. This formation seems to benefit the attackers greatly and they’ll likely be hoping that Tabarez chooses to utilize it once again, especially after seeing what happened when they began in a 4-4-2 against Japan. Suarez and Cavani are virtually certain to start as number nines, with Lucas Torreira and Rodrigo Bentacur in central midfield in front of Godin and Gimenez. There are no real injury concerns for the manager ahead of this one.
These are two sides who simply love to score goals, which is something they demonstrated perfectly in their first match of the Copa America by winning 4-0 respectively. With such flair up front and hungry forwards in both squads, it looks a sure bet that the scoreline will be added to on many occasions. Bet365 have over 2.5 goals at 11/10, decent odds considering the threat of both teams. Barcelona striker Suarez has already bagged two goals in two outings and looks desperate to finally win silverware with his nation. Bet365 have the 32-year-old to net again here at 7/5 and you can be sure that we don’t recommend betting against him doing so. The outcome is very hard to predict for this one as the pair are extremely talented and always go for the win. However, Chile have been here and done it all before and because of that, we can see both teams scoring and Chile coming out with three points, and Bet365 have a price of 13/2 for exactly that.