The team: Chile won a lot of fans when they comfortably dispatched England 2-0 at Wembley in a friendly back in October, with their free-flowing attacking style proving too much for the Three Lions. This attractive brand of football also proved successful during qualifying, with Chile going on a five-match winning streak to turn around a previously precarious campaign. This upturn in form and style came with the appointment of Jorge Sampaoli as coach, whose skills could be in high-demand from top European clubs next season. But while Chile score for fun (29 in 16 qualification games), their defence can be breached by any half-decent attacking outfit; they conceded 25 during qualifying. Still, it’s all very exciting.
The coach: Jorge Sampaoli
Argentinian coach Jorge Sampaoli replaced his compatriot Claudio Borghi midway through the qualifying campaign and turned around Chile’s form in style. He made his name in the domestic league in Chile, winning three league titles with Universidad de Chile. His high-pressing style makes Chile very difficult to play against.
Key player: Alexis Sanchez
As you would expect from a team that scores goals at will, Chile’s frontline is led by one of the best strikers in the world: Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez. He’s a sure-fire Golden Boot contender if he can stay fit.
World ranking: 13
World Cup appearances: 7
Previous best: Third place in 1962
Qualification: Third in group
Form (qualifiers): LLLLWWWWDW
Fixtures: June 14 vs. Australia; June 18 vs. Spain; June 23 vs. Netherlands