World Cup Second Round
Brazil v Chile
Saturday 28th June, 1700 BST, Belo Horizonte
As host nation and tournament favourites Brazil prepare to kick off the second round of the World Cup against fellow South American outfit, we take a look at where the game is likely to be decided.
Road to the Second Round
Brazil secured their progression as Group A winners with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Cameroon thanks to another brace from talisman Neymar to add to the two goals he scored in the tournament curtain raiser against Cameroon. A disappointing goalless draw against Mexico in the second game meant that Luiz Felipe Scoalri’s side had to wait to confirm their second round fate.
Chile have been one of the tournaments surprise packages so far, securing qualification with a game to spare after winning their opening two encounters including a 2-0 victory over defending champions Spain before a 0-2 defeat to Holland in their final Group B tie saw them finish second behind Louis van Gaal’s men.
The two sides last met in November last year when Brazil beat Chile 2-1 in a friendly in Toronto and Brazil are unbeaten in their last 12 games against Chile winning ten of those encounters.
The Selecao have also won all three previous World Cup meetings between the sides the last of which came in 2010 when they ran out 3-0 victors.
Chile have never beaten the hosts on Brazilian soil and Brazil have scored at least two goals in their last nine outings against Jorge Sampaoli’s side.
Neymar v Medel
The Brazilian superstar has grabbed the headlines so far with four goals in three games for the hosts. The Barcelona forward has been the driving force in Scolari’s team that has otherwise failed to convince. Cardiff’s Medel will need to be at his best to keep Brazil’s main threat quiet and the 26-year-old will be aiming to rush Neymar with his combative approach.
• Brazil have won all three previous World Cup fixtures against Chile.
• Brazil average 3.6 goals per game in their last nine matches against Chile, finding the net 32 times in total.
• Neymar has scored four times in World Cup so far and eight times in his last six for Brazil.
• Chile have lost each of their previous second round fixtures, both to Brazil.
• Brazil have won their last five second round matches at the World Cup.
• The last time that Brazil exited the World Cup at the second round of the competition was back in 1990 after a 0-1 defeat to Argentina.
• Chile have never beaten the Brazil in their own back yard.
• Brazil are unbeaten in 40 successive home matches.
Whilst Brazil have not yet displayed the dominance that has been expected of them as host nation, the brilliance of Neymar shows no signs of slowing. Chile’s excellent start was somewhat tempered by the defeat to Holland who nullified the South American’s threat by sitting deep and restricting their ability to counter attack.
Brazil will remain on the front foot and give Vidal and co chance to counter but their abysmal record against their opponents mean Brazil have to be favourites to progress.
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