The Arena Corinthians will host a clash between two South American giants when Colombia and Chile face off against one another in the quarter finals of the Copa America on Saturday. Colombia are fresh off the back of three successive victories in Group B, putting them top of the leaderboard in terms of points overall in the tournament and being the only team to win each of their group stage matches. Chile came second in Group C behind Uruguay, with the table ultimately decided on the final day of group stage fixtures as Luis Suarez and co ran out 1-0 victors in a tight affair.
Colombia are yet to concede a goal in the Copa America and have shown themselves to be real contenders for silverware this summer. In the opener against Argentina, Colombia came out on top by two goals to nil thanks to second half strikes from Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata, the latter of which arriving four minutes from time at the end of a fantastic team move. The encounter with Qatar was actually rather more tricky due to their opponents defensive style of play and unwillingness to budge from a very solid 3-5-1-1 formation. Eventually, Zapata got another goal, again four minutes before the final whistle and on this occasion it was James Rodriguez with the assist. When Colombia met Paraguay they were already certain to take part in the quarter finals of the tournament and some questioned whether they would keep playing at the same level. Although the match was much tighter than previous games,Gustavo Cuellar sealed three points on the half hour mark with a shot that fired past the goalkeeper. The pressure is on Colombia to go on and make their way to the final now.
Chile appeared to be on course for three wins on the bounce too after performing to an excellent standard against Japan and Ecuador, bagging six goals in the process. The first matchup versus the Asian Cup finalists is where they really shone, hitting four past Keisuke Osako and leaving the rest of the tournament in awe of their brilliance on the night. Eduardo Vargas, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez were the star men, with Vargas getting both a goal and assist. When Ecuador locked horns with Chile they were resolute and determined not to lose, and when Enner Valencia leveled the scores from the penalty spot in the first half Chile were beginning to wonder whether this one would get away from them. Manchester United’s forgotten man Sanchez popped up with another goal though, assisted by Aranguiz, and that put an end to any doubts that they wouldn’t finish as victors. Uruguay were not simply there to accept their place in the quarter finals either however, and after eighty-two minutes of the pair shutting down one another, Edinson Cavani struck gold. That result will have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Chileans, but they need to use that as a means of forcing their way further in the tournament.
Luis Muriel has been ruled out of the remainder of the Copa America after injuring his medial collateral ligament, and he is the sole injury concern for Colombia going into this one. It would not come as a surprise if Colombia were to utilize the 4-3-3 again with Duvan Zapata or Radamel Falcao at the front of attack, while James Rodriguez and Roger Martinez sit either side of the number nine. Juan Cuadrado is likely to start too, and David Ospina will remain as goalkeeper.
Gary Medel could miss out on this one with a calf injury, but other than that there are no injury worries for Chile with the rest of the squad fit and ready for action. Despite coming out as losers against Uruguay, the team actually played to a decent standard and the formation worked to a certain extent, however we can’t see them continuing in a 3-5-2 here. We think they’ll revert to a 4-3-3, just as they did against Japan so successfully, with Vargas and Sanchez as the main frontmen beside Jose Fuenzalida.
Colombia are the favourites and deservedly so, but that means Chile have far less pressure on them even though they are the defending champions. We can see this being a high-scoring thriller as both teams have excellent forwards and at times, scintillating attacking moves. They have scored a combined amount of ten goals and in this one, we can see the goals flowing once more, with Skybet offering 10/3 for over 3.5 goals in the ninety minutes, which is a bet we’ll be taking a chance on. Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and Duvan Zapata each have two goals to their name so far, and Sanchez is the most likely to add more to his tally in this one when taking everything into account. He needs to prove himself on the big stage again if he is to break into United’s starting eleven or get a move away this summer, and Skybet have the winger to bag his third of the Copa America anytime at 11/4. Chile have scored two or more in two out of their three matches up to now, and we wouldn’t be shocked if they completed that feat three times on Saturday. Skybet have Chile to score two or more at 11/4.