X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Soccer World Cup

5 Fixes Chile Must Make Before The 2014 World Cup

5 Fixes Chile Must Make Before the 2014 World Cup

brazil vs chile celebration
Getty Images

While Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli has transformed Chile into a well-oiled machine, there's still a number of kinks in the armor that he must fix. If Chile wants to upset Netherlands and Spain in the group stage, they'll have to find out how to quickly fix these five issues.

5. Finishing Ability of Alexis Sanchez

alexis sanchez chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

5. Finishing Ability of Alexis Sanchez

alexis sanchez chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Although Alexis Sanchez has had his most successful season yet at Barcelona with 19 goals and 10 assists, the demanding Barcelona fans have complained about his finishing ability, and with good reason. Although he seems to score the most difficult goals, he misses extremely easy opportunities. He also suffers the same problems for the national team. Coach Sampaoli will want to make sure every chance turns into a goal at the World Cup.

4. Jorge Valdivia's Conditioning

jorge valdivia palmeiras chile
Getty Images

4. Jorge Valdivia's Conditioning

jorge valdivia palmeiras chile
Getty Images

While Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal get all the praise in Chile, Jorge Valdivia might just be the team's most important player. His vision and passing ability are arguably some of the best in the world, and coach Sampaoli needs to have that for 90 minutes. Valdivia is very injury-prone, so playing 90 minutes might be a struggle for him. Regardless, Chile will need every minute of his technique.

3. Arturo Vidal's Replacement

arturo vidal chile world cup
Getty Images

3. Arturo Vidal's Replacement

arturo vidal chile world cup
Getty Images

Unfortunately for Chile, their star midfielder recently had surgery on his knee. There's much speculation as to whether or not Arturo Vidal will be available for the first game of the World Cup, so coach Sampaoli will want to make sure he has an insurance policy. Felipe Gutierrez, Carlos Carmona and Francisco Silva are all options to replace Vidal. The question remains if any of them have the ability to do so.

2. Chile's Height Problems

marcos gonzalez chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chile's Height Problems

marcos gonzalez chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After 6-foot-3 defender Marcos Gonzalez was left out of the World Cup, one of Chile's glaring weakness' became their lack of size. Their next tallest player is the 6-foot-2 Mauricio Pinilla, but the forward will likely come off the bench. If you look at their starting lineup, they have five players under 5-foot-8, and no one outside of the goalkeeper is taller than 5-foot-11. Coach Sampaoli will stress avoiding fouls and corners near the box.

1. Defense

gary medel chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

1. Defense

gary medel chile world cup
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Besides their general lack of size, the Chilean defense is often mistake-prone, which could lead to their demise in Brazil. While Gary Medel is a fantastic and experienced modified defender, defenders like Jose Rojas and Gonzalo Jara are often caught in lazy coverages and bad passes. Against players like David Villa, Robin van Persie and Tim Cahill, the Chilean defense can't afford a single mistake.