Chile seek come­back

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

from one set­back to the next so far.

Last month they were beaten 2-1 by Paraguay in Asun­cion and were then held to a 0-0 draw by min­nows Bo­livia at home in San­ti­ago.

Chile coach Juan An­to­nio Pizzi has re­called play­maker Jorge Val­divia fol­low­ing a 10-month ex­ile while Bravo, Sanchez and Vi­dal are all ex­pected to start at Quito’s Es­ta­dio Olimpico Atahualpa, which is some 9,000 feet above sea level.

Ecuador, mean­while, head into the game look­ing to redis­cover their win­ning habit. Af­ter start­ing qual­i­fiers with four straight wins, Ecuador have taken only one point from their last four games. In other matches to­mor­row morn­ing, Uruguay will be con­fi­dent of hold­ing onto their po­si­tion at the top of the stand­ings when they face Venezuela in Mon­te­v­ideo, with star strik­ers Edin­son Ca­vani and Luis Suarez both ex­pected to play. Venezuela are bot­tom of the 10-na­tion stand­ings with no wins from eight games, al­though they gave Ar­gentina a mighty scare in their last out­ing on Septem­ber 6, tak­ing a 20 lead be­fore even­tu­ally be­ing held for a 2-2 draw. A resur­gent Brazil mean­while will at­tempt to ex­tend the feel­good fac­tor cre­ated by back-to-back wins over Ecuador and Colom­bia last month when they take on eighth-placed Bo­livia in Na­tal.

Ar­gentina, who are level with Brazil on 15 points but trail their ri­vals on goal dif­fer­ence, face an awk­ward trip to Lima to face Peru, with coach Edgardo Bauza mulling how best to plug the gap cre­ated by in­jury to cap­tain Lionel Messi.

Bauza has in­di­cated ei­ther Ju­ven­tus’s Paulo Dy­bala or Atletico Madrid’s An­gel Cor­rea could start in Messi’s place.

Ar­gentina’s Ever­ton de­fender Ramiro Fu­nes Mori mean­while urged his team­mates to be­ware the threat posed by Peru’s vet­eran striker Paolo Guer­rero, the 32-year-old Fla­mengo at­tacker who is his coun­try’s all-time lead­ing scorer with 27 goals in 73 games.

“We may be the favourites but you al­ways have to be care­ful around a guy like Guer­rero. He’s a tricky player,” the de­fender said. – AFP

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