The top 2 teams from each group advance into the semifinal. The winners of Group A, Portugal, are taking on runner-up from Group B, Chile. In this article, we will be previewing this matchup between 2 world-class teams.
What Portugal Needs to do to Win
Portugal’s back line needs to get rid of the ball as soon as possible. Chile runs a high-pressure system which will keep the back line under pressure whenever they have the ball, so to avoid disaster they need to find a passing option as soon as possible.
Portugal’s back line has to be disciplined. In the Mexico game, the first goal was caused by a Portuguese defender not clearing the ball, it went right through his legs and Mexico scored. Portugal’s back line has to have good positioning and clear the ball out the first time.
Portugal midfield cannot give Chile’s midfield time with the ball. Chile’s midfielders are very good at playing through balls and exploiting the holes in the defense which can create 1 on 1 chances against the keeper with players like Alexis Sanchez or Eduardo Vargas. By pressuring the midfielders, they won’t have time to play through and likely will make a mistake. Portugal’s midfielders need to get the ball out wide. Most of Portugal’s chances or goals came from the wider areas of the pitch. By getting the ball out wide, they can play crosses in or pass it to someone around the 18-yard box so they can get a shot off.
Portugal’s Midfielder need to get the ball out wide. Most of Portugal’s chances or goals came from the wider areas of the pitch. By getting the ball out wide, they can play crosses in or pass it to someone around the 18-yard box so they can get a shot off.
Portugal’s offense needs to get numbers in the box off crosses. Their midfield is very tall and big so by getting numbers in the box, they will have a better chance of scoring.
When getting the ball around the 18-yard box, Portugal had done very well from dribbling to the end line and putting a deadly cross in. Portugal need to continue doing this because after time defenders will back off which will give Portugal an easy shot from 18 yards out.
What Chile Needs to do to Win
Chile defense needs to win headers off corners and crosses into the box. Portugal has very tall players so Chile’s defense will need to out muscle them in the air to win the header, and limit goal scoring opportunities.
When a Portugal player gets the ball around the 18-yard box, they need to have one pressuring player and one covering player. They can’t leave a defender 1 on 1 with a Portuguese attacker, this will lead to disaster. By having one pressure and one cover, this will limit the crosses and shots.
Chile’s midfield needs to rotate the ball quickly. They need to do this to tire out Portugal and then they can slot through balls to Sanchez and Vargas and give them a chance to score.
Chile’s Midfield needs to be disciplined. They should not put all their midfielder pressing when they have an attack and leave Portugal attackers with 4 defenders because Portugal is very good on the counter. They should leave 2 midfielders around the 30-yard mark to stop the counter attack.
The attackers for Chile have to be determined to win the ball in the air. Portugal has been poor in the air this tournament when it comes to defending.
The attackers should never give up on the ball. Even if it seems like Portugal is going to clear it, still go after it. Portugal has had some slip ups and if they have one in this game, Chile needs to capitalize.
There has also been a lot of smack talk leading up to this game so it should be a fun one to watch.
Prediction for the Game