World Cup Qualifying: Colombia vs Chile preview

Two of South America's best national teams will clash on Thursday when Colombia host Chile in what could become a decisive qualifying match for the upcoming 2018 World Cup. The previous World Cup qualifying fixture between these two teams ended 1-1 in Chile, with James Rodriguez scoring to make it all square after Arturo Vidal had put the home side ahead. The two nations also met at this summer's Copa America and Chile won 2-0 en route to the trophy.

Colombia were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Uruguay last time out, a result which left them fourth in the qualifying group table, just one point ahead of Chile and Argentina and just two ahead of Paraguay. The top four teams qualify from the South American group, but the outcome of the battle for those places is still hard to predict. James Rodriguez wasn't able to feature in the last two games but he is now fit and ready to play.

After having won this summer's Copa America, Chile are not playing as convincingly in the World Cup qualifiers. They had two games at home and two away since the Copa America final and they won both matches at home but also lost both away fixtures. They are currently fifth in the group table, a place that would take them to a play-off against a team from Oceania. Unfortunately for Chile, Alexis Sanchez will not be able to play after having picked up an injury in training.

Probable line-ups:

Colombia: Ospina - Arias, Murillo, Zapata, Diaz - Aguilar, Sanchez - Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Muriel - Bacca

Chile: Bravo - Isla, Medel, Jara, Beausejour - Aranguiz, Diaz, Vidal - Orellana, Vargas, Puch

My prediction: Colombia to win 1-0.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Colombia win - 1.91
Draw - 3.75
Chile win - 4.33

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