Chile seeking victory against Bolivia as Messi is passed fit

Chile seeking victory against Bolivia as Messi is passed fit

The defending champions of the Copa America, Chile, are in a tricky fix. Having lost their Group D opener against tournament favourites Argentina 2-1, with Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega being the destroyers, La Roja do need to get three points. But if whatever happened to Uruguay against Venezuela is anything to go by, Juan Antonio Pizzi’s charges cannot afford to be complacent.

The Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, will see Chile face off with underdogs Bolivia, the second-last seeded team in the tournament.  Not that an upset is expected, but with the fifth-best side in the world having the likes of Bayern Munich’s box-to-box midfielder Arturo Vidal, Arsenal’s playmaker Alexis Sanchez and Hoffenheim’s Eduardo Vargas, Bolivia should not cause an upset at all.

La Verde were sunk by Panama with a similar score line to Chile’s, and Bolivia’s tournament may soon be over if they suffer a defeat tonight, since it is highly unlikely that they would beat Argentina in the last group stage match. Certainly coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso’s work is clearly cut out.

Elsewhere, the World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi, has been passed fit to return for Argentina, as La Albiceleste seek to book a place in the tournament quarters. Argentina beat Chile in the first game, in a repeat of last year’s Copa America final, and will be expected to see off both Panama and Bolivia in the remaining Group D matches.

The Barcelona superstar missed the group’s opener with a back injury, but coach Gerardo Murtano confirmed that Messi will play against Panama at the Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago. That means the player most likely to give way is Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan, with Man City hitman, Sergio Aguero, also expected to start.

La Abiceleste may be world’s No. 1 team, but they still do have to worry about the tricky Los Canaleros, and especially its forward Blas Perez, after the Vancouver Whitecaps forward scored a brace against Bolivia in their 2-1 victory.

You can watch these matches LIVE on StarTimes Sports and StarTimes App on your mobile phone.

ST World Football Ch.254 DTT/ Ch.244 DTH & Sports Focus Ch.250 DTT/ Ch.240 DTH

2:00AM Chile – Bolivia, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

4:30AM Argentina – Panama, Soldier Field Stadium, Chicago, Illinois

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