Colombia will face-off against Chile for a spot in the Copa America semifinals in a battle of heavyweights at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo.
Los Cafeteros are one of the three sides to stay unbeaten in the group stages, along with Brazil and Uruguay. However, Carlos Queiroz’s side are the only team to have won each of their group games, giving them a perfect record.
They stunned Argentina in their first group game, winning 2-0. This was followed by a 1-0 win against Qatar, which sealed their progress. A much-changed side managed to beat Paraguay 1-0 in the final group game, making it three wins out of three.Embed from Getty Images
However, the best team in this tournament so far were rewarded with the toughest opponent at the quarterfinal stage, Chile.
Chile, are the defending champions, having won the last two editions in 2015 and 2016. However, those players, referred to as the golden generation, are entering the twilight of their careers. Nevertheless, La Roja are putting on a strong showing so far, as they look to win three in a row.
Reinaldo Rueda’s side thumped Japan 4-0 in their first group game with Alexis Sanchez finding himself on the score-sheet. The Manchester United man scored again in a 2-1 win against Ecuador. Rueda made a few changes in the final group game against Uruguay, which resulted in a 1-0 loss.Embed from Getty Images
Thus, both teams are in a right moment as they get ready to battle for a spot in the final four.
Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina should return to the starting line-up for Colombia along with Premier League stars Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez. Midfielders Gustavo Cuellar and Edwin Cardona did well against Paraguay. However, Wilmar Barrios and Mateus Uribe can be expected to start against Chile.
Finally, red-hot marksman, Duvan Zapata looks to have edged out Radamel Falcao for the striker position and will look to lead the line.
Meanwhile, for Chile, Jean Beausejour, Arturo Vidal, and Mauricio Isla can be expected to return to the lineup after sitting out against Uruguay.
Head-To-Head and Colombia vs Chile Prediction
The head-to-head record between the two sides is reasonably even, with both teams picking up five wins apiece since 1999. The remaining five games ended as stalemates. Chile are unbeaten against Colombia in the last two meetings, including winning their match-up in the 2016 Copa America semifinals.
However, Queiroz’s side are a better side now and are easily the most balanced team in the tournament, with quality sprinkled all over the pitch. On the other hand, La Roja are not in the best of shape, with no clean sheets in 7 of their last eight games.
Thus, Colombia are favorites to progress from this match-up while Chile will have to step up a gear if they harbor any hopes of getting a result.
Colombia Predicted XI: Ospina; Medina, Mina, Sanchez, Tesillo; Cuadrado, Barrios, Uribe; Rodriguez, Martinez, Zapata
Chile Predicted XI: Arias; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Beausejour; Aranguiz, Pulgar, Vidal; Fuenzalida, Sanchez, Vargas