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Chile to take risks versus the Dutch in bid to elude specter of Brazil

Chile to take risks versus the Dutch in bid to elude specter of Brazil

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on June 23, 2014

Jorge Sampaoli finds himself in a predicament now familiar to Chilean coaches going into their last group match at the World Cup as he prepares for Monday’s clash against the Netherlands — risk losing key players or rest them and face Brazil in a knockout clash.

In France 1998, Nelson Acosta’s men secured second place in their group with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Cameroon, but lost three key players after they received a second yellow card in consecutive games. Marcelo Bielsa decided to go all in against Spain in South Africa 2010 and, not only came up short, but lost defensive generals Gary Medel and Waldo Ponce for the same reason. Both squads were summarily dispatched by Brazil in the following stage of the tournament, 4-1 and 3-0, respectively.

Sampaoli’s dilemma is further complicated by an ongoing struggle to manage high profile injuries in Brazil 2014.

Superstar Arturo Vidal and his lesser known but equally important partner in the midfield, Charles Aránguiz, have both injury and suspension hovering over them, while a yellow card and thigh niggle to wingers Eugenio Mena and Mauricio Isla respectively are also weighing on the manager’s mind as he prepares his side to play against the Dutch in São Paulo.

Sampaoli to resguffle, but stick to guns

Since Vidal underwent surgery on his right knee last month, managing his recovery has been something of a full-time job for Sampaoli and his medical staff.

The Juventus man has not yet fully regained his imperious form, but his physical recovery has been as astounding as his resolve. He has played in both games so far and the belief he instills in his teammates is clearly evident. Regardless, Vidal may not start Monday so as to rest his knee after two hard workouts and give him a clean slate following the yellow card he picked up against Spain.

But, as ever, “King Arthur” wants to play and team doctor Giovanni Carcuro will have his work cut out convincing him otherwise.

“This squad is showing how great it is and that’s why I’m not thinking about that yellow card, nor that I could be suspended,” Vidal told El Mercurio. “I just hope to play and be in the squad, that’s the mentality of this team.”

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