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Rupert Wyman 15th Jun 2010 - 18:18

Attacking Chile to warm up the World Cup

The World Cup to date has generally been a drab affair with boring matches as there has been little goal-mouth action let alone many goals.

To demonstrate this in the opening 13 matches, as I write this before Brazil take on North Korea, there has been an average of 1.53 goals per match. The lowest average in history for a World Cup finals is 2.2.

However, for those seeking attacking football then people should look no further than Chile. La Roja have been described as the most attractive South American side, even more so than the talented Brazilian and Argentinian squads.

In qualifying Chile scored more goals away from home than anyone else (18) and notched 32 overall in their 18 qualifiers.

Their coach Marcelo Bielsa sets his side up to play one way and that is to attack. Bielsa looks to press the opposition all over the pitch and for this he utilises a 3-3-1-3 formation.

It is an ambitious style of play but it should be rewarded with a victory (4/6) against the Group H minnows Honduras.

Chile's main concern heading into the match is the fitness of their talismanic striker Humberto Suazo. The Monterrey man, who was on loan at Real Zaragoza this season, finished as top scorer in South American qualifying and is key to Chile's formation as he is the focal point of their attack.

If Suazo fails to make the Group H opener then Bielsa will have a problem as no one in his squad is a like-for-like replacement for his prolific front man.

The man most likely to benefit though is Esteban Paredes. If Suazo does not make it then it will undoubtedly be a blow to Chile's hopes but in Alexis Sanchez they have one of the potential stars of this year's World Cup.

The Udinese winger is a tricky customer with quick feet and a real turn of speed so he should be able to create plenty of chances for either Suazo or Paredes so scoring should not be a problem.

The bet in the scorer markets could well be Jean Beausejour though who should operate on the opposite flank to Sanchez. The Club America man looks the value selection at 7/2 when compared with Sanchez at 6/5 and Paredes at 5/4.

If Suazo does make the starting XI then for him to score and Chile to win in the anytime wincast market looks very attractive at 29/20.

Like Chile, Honduras like to attack. The Central American nation though will probably be without their own talismanic Suazo, David.

The Honduran Suazo is clearly not without ability as he is on Inter Milan's books, albeit he spent the season on loan at fellow Serie A side Genoa.

Suazo may have only scored three goals this season for Genoa but his absence will be a huge blow to Reinaldo Rueda's inexperienced side.

Honduras though will not be without a hope in the match as Chile are vulnerable defensively - they conceded 22 goals in their 18 qualifiers.

Therefore both teams to score could be worth a bet at 5/4. However, despite the lack of goals scored so far in South Africa the preference would be to back over 1.5 goals at 4/11 or alternatively over 2.5 at 13/10.

The hope is that this match will truly kick start the World Cup into action and I for one can see it happening with Chile claiming their first victory 48 years to the day since their last success in 1962.



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