The first big concern in this one is whether Chile’s star midfielder Arturo Vidal is fit and able to play tonight. The Juventus player has been struggling with inflammation in his right knee following an operation on his meniscus last month and was expected to be out for the whole of the group phase. They are far from a one man band though, as their third place finish in the South American qualifying section shows. They ended the campaign just four points behind Argentina, three ahead of Uruguay and now sit 14th in the FIFA rankings – above the likes of France and their Group B rival the Netherlands. They are quick on the attack, especially when Alexis Sanchez is on form, but their high back line can be exploited as the two goals from Egypt on 31st May proved. Quick, skilful and durable the Chileans will be hoping to, at least, make the Round of 16.
Australia are pitted by many to be the whipping boys of Group B, recently losing to Croatia and drawing with South Africa during their World Cup build-up. Given that they are still relatively new to the world stage and progression from the groups would be a massive achievement. They are however a very hard-working side and boast no lack of passion for the game. Failing to get over the first hurdle in 2010 will still be ringing in most of the player and a better showing will be demanded this time around. If they can get off to a winning start then anything is possible, but they rather stumbled their way through qualification and know they need to raise their game dramatically to make a last impression on the proceedings.
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