World Cup 2014 last 16 preview: Brazil v Chile
Brazil have beaten fellow South American side Chile in nine of their last 10 meetings, winning six of those encounters to nil. Back the tournament hosts to do so again with Coral at 33/20.
Brazil, with the weight of expectation from an entire nation on their shoulders, are virtually guaranteed to score here, after doing so in each of their last dozen head-to-heads and in 11 of their previous 12 fixtures. Against Chile, they have averaged an impressive three goals per game since last losing to them, so odds of 2/1 saying Big Phil’s side will net this many or more are tempting.
This also means punters should consider the handicap market here too. Give the Samba Boys a two-goal deficit to overturn here, and an outstanding 16/1 price is available. This bet is not based solely on history, either.
Scolari’s side will be facing makeshift central defenders Gary Medel and Gonzalo Jara, who are aggressive in the tackle, but will be exposed by the talents of Neymar in off the flank and a battering ram centre forward in Fred.
The former poses a clear and present danger, but Neymar is odds-on at 8/11 for a goal anytime and that is scant value, despite the Barcelona superstar having a goal against Chile already on his CV. He is better value at 3/1 to bag a brace or better, having netted two doubles at this tournament already.
Neymar will also be available in an enhanced 7/4 wincast (he scores anytime and Brazil beat Chile) on the matchday itself, with punters able to stake a maximum of £20.
Fred, meanwhile, is a player that Big Phil has got plenty out of; 11 of his 18 international goals have come under the current Brazil national coach. Much-maligned for winning a soft penalty in the opening game and grabbing an offside goal against Cameroon, he is a more attractive 7/4 to score here.
Hulk, like Neymar, has previously netted when paired with Chile and it came in their last encounter, so odds of 2/1 in the anytime market, and 7/1 to get the first goal must both be considered too. That takes care of the forward line, but behind these names and Oscar, Scolari’s Samba Boys have function as well as flair.
The Brazil defence has been breached just twice at the tournament so far, so back Thiago Silva, David Luiz et al to keep a clean sheet at 5/4. Trying to beat Julio Cesar, however, will be Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas.
It is Valencia loanee Vargas that the Samba Boys will fear most. He has scored in both of the last two encounters between the Chileans and Brazil. Back Vargas at a tasty 11/4 to be on target again here. Strike partner Sanchez, meanwhile, is shorter at 2/1.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side are set-up for all-out attack, but something will have to give, especially with square pegs in round holes in defence. Back Big Phil’s Brazil to win, but both teams to score at 12/5.