Five Chileans To Watch At Wembley

Gone are the days of Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano, but Matt Stanger still has a sweet spot for this Chile side. Here are his five players to watch in Friday's friendly...

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 09:17 Post Comment

Latest Articles

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

Post comment

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

4 comments

A nice boy. A really nice boy. A really, really nice boy. The nagging issue with Jake Humphrey is that he's a bit too vanilla, but it's a difficult to be too scathing about that...

All Articles

Eduardo Vargas
Linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and, somewhat bizarrely, Middlesbrough, over the past 12 months, Vargas eventually opted to join Gremio on loan to end his European nightmare after failing to live up to the hype at Napoli. Big things were expected of the 23-year-old after he led Universidad de Chile to the Copa Sudamericana in 2011 - managed by current Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli - but so far Napoli have been left to rue an £11.5million investment that has earned them a return of just three goals in 26 appearances. "I was not happy in Italy," said Vargas upon securing his move to Brazil. "I didn't feel good on my debut and played badly, then I lost my confidence and was never able to play consistently."

The striker's form has gradually improved since joining Gremio and Chile's trip to Wembley affords Vargas the chance to reaffirm his quality to a European audience. A pacy forward who likes to cut in from the wings, Vargas has notched ten strikes in 22 caps for his country including five in World Cup qualifying. With burly forward Humberto Suazo left out of Chile's latest squad having failed to score for La Roja since 2011, Vargas remains in the driving seat to lead the line at the World Cup and he will be looking to make the most of his opportunity to impress on Friday.


Jorge Valdivia
A delightful, somewhat anachronistic player, similar to Juan Roman Riquelme, only with more dynamism. Now 30, the Venezuelan-born Valdivia has enjoyed a varied career, spending time in Chile, Spain, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates before settling at Brazilian club Palmeiras since 2010. The talented playmaker has been a key member of Chile's squad over the past six years, but his checkered international career has also been marked by several scandals, the most recent of which was the 2011 'El Bautizazo' controversy when several players attended the baptism of Validivia's daughter and turned up late to training after drinking heavily. The fall-out of that incident saw Valdivia ostracised from national team duty until September 2013 when he started a 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Venezuela in Santiago. As long as none of his children were baptised on Thursday, it can be expected that Valdivia will pull the strings behind Vargas in Chile's attack.


Alexis Sanchez
One of the few household names in Chile's squad and the man responsible for carrying the torch against England following Arturo Vidal's late withdrawal through injury. Sanchez is quite simply a wonderful footballer, possessing pace to burn, a neat drop of the shoulder to evade defenders and the crucial desire to take on his opponent. In truth, he is perhaps better suited to Chile's system than Barcelona's, where his speed can utilised on the counter-attack to break behind the opposition defence. Sanchez struggled in his second season at Barcelona last year, but he has shown encouraging signs of improvement under new manager Tata Martino, grabbing the winner in the 2-1 Clasico victory over Real Madrid and seven goals in total. If England are to overcome Chile, then Sanchez is the man they will need stop.


Mauricio Isla
It's fair to say that Isla's £8million move to Juventus in 2012 hasn't exactly gone to plan so far. The former Udinese full-back made just 16 appearances in his first season for the Old Lady and was forced to play second fiddle to Stephan Lichtsteiner as Antonio Conte's side romped to a second successive Scudetto victory. The 25-year-old has recently shown that he can usurp his rival for the right-back role, however, and he has remained an integral part of the Chile set-up following his debut under Marcelo Bielsa in 2007. Isla will take every opportunity to attack down the wing and create two-v-one situations with Alexis Sanchez and his record of 17 assists in his final three years at Udinese point to a defender who loves to get forward. Whoever is tasked with providing protection to Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines on Friday will need to be wary of Isla's marauding runs.


Claudio Bravo
The Chile captain is selected in this list not because of his impressive performances to help Real Sociedad reach the Champions League last season, but rather for his propensity to make glaring errors. Although Bravo has clocked up 76 international caps and 200-odd appearances for La Real, his displays between the sticks for both club and country have drawn criticism on occasion. Bravo's costly fumble in Chile's Copa America quarter-final against Venezuela in 2011 saw La Roja crash out of the tournament prematurely, while he was also left red-faced following a mistake against Spain in Chile's 2-1 defeat at the 2010 World Cup. The 30-year-old is definitely a weak spot for England to target and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the set-piece threat of Roy Hodgson's side.

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal against ban

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Latest Photos

Footer 365

David de Gea future key to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to keep David de Gea at Old Trafford.

Juan Cuadrado backed to shine in Premier League by Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea-bound Juan Cuadrado has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.

Les Hutchison's takeover of Motherwell has been ratified

Lanarkshire businessman Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company