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Jon Riley 20th Jun 2010 - 13:00

You'd be silly not to back Chile

Switzerland shocked Spain (and the world!) in their opening game and will hope to follow up that giant killing with another three points against Chile.

The Swiss wounded the pre-tournament favourites, defeating them by a solitary goal to nil. Defensively, they suffocated the Spanish attack. Ok, it was far from pretty but it was massively effective.Nobody was predicting that Switzerland would get anything from their opening game but led by their wily and experienced coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, they managed a performance of real grit, organisation and spirit.

Chile were highly impressive in their victory over Honduras in their first game of the World Cup. It was as comprehensive a 1-0 as I have seen in a long time. Marcelo Bielsa's side dominated from the first whistle and the score line could and should have been a lot bigger. Jean Beausejour's strike earned the Chileans their first World Cup victory in 48 years, picking up the plaudits in the process for their attack minded approach.

The two teams meet in this vital second group game knowing that the winners are likely to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup. Chile are favourites to win the match and are priced at 5/4 to make it six points out of six. The Swiss are priced at 5/2 to follow up their victory over Spain with another win here.

Hitzfeld's Switzerland have a double injury boost ahead of the match with Alexander Frei and Valon Behrami both recovering from injury and in contention to face Chile.

Marcelo Bielsa also has players returning to the fold with Humberto Suazo, he leading scorer in the South American qualifiers with 10 goals, completing a full training session on Friday. Playmaker Jorge Valdivia also returns after suffering a muscular problem, meaning the manager could reshuffle his pack if he decides more goals are needed.

Any points earned from this match will be a massive boost for Switzerland, as they will also be banking on taking three points of Honduras in their final match. This is an unexpected position for them, and they'll be hoping to capitalize on their win against Spain with another win.

They still have tough battles on their hands, and Chile are not going to be an easy side for them to contain. Chile are a strong side, who can zip quick passes around the pitch, and leave the opposition in a daze. They are similar to Spain, not as accomplished and without the international acclaim, but they can hold the ball and pull opponents all over the field with their quick movement.

But that is five clean sheets in a row now for Switzerland at the World Cup, and that is what will keep them going. Their defence and organisation is their strengths, and they will run and chase and block all day long as they have proved so far in South Africa. This will be a fascinating match between the two sides in Group H at the top of the table. While a point for Switzerland would be fairly satisfactory, they will know that Chile will be pressing hard for all three, as they still have to deal with Spain.

My recommendation for this match would be for Chile to edge out their European counterparts by a narrow margin. Chile 1-0 can be backed at 9/2 and 2-1 at 17/2. If you feel that a correct score prediction is too risky then just go for Chile in 90 minutes at 5/4.

On the goalscorer front I am going to back the impressive Alexis Sanchez to break the deadlock. He is priced at 7/1 to open the scoring and 2/1 to notch anytime.

 

 

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