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Jun 18, 2021 at 10pm UK
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Preview: Chile vs. Bolivia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Chile vs. Bolivia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa America clash between Chile and Bolivia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Following a commendable 1-1 draw with Argentina in their opening game, Chile will look to record their first victory of the Copa America campaign on Saturday as they take on Bolivia in Cuiaba.

Their opponents will look to bounce back in a positive way, after they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Venezuela in their opening encounter.

Match preview

Chile started their tournament in a fairly positive manner, as they took a point from a 1-1 draw with a heavily-fancied Argentina side.

Their opponents took the lead through a pinpoint Lionel Messi free kick in the 33rd minute, and they would go on to miss plenty of chances which they would rue as Chile levelled the scoring on the hour mark.

Experienced midfielder Arturo Vidal stepped up to take a penalty, and Emiliano Martinez went the correct way to produce the save, but he was powerless to stop Eduardo Vargas from running in and tapping the rebound into a virtually empty net from close range.

That result put La Roja in a strong position in the group stage, having picked up a point from one of the tougher clashes, and they will look to add to that with a victory over a slightly weaker Bolivia side on Friday.

Meanwhile, their opponents will hope to bounce back after a disappointing opening defeat, which saw them fall at the hands of Paraguay.

Despite Paraguay dominating the game throughout, Bolivia went ahead in the 10th minute through Erwin Saavedra and managed to hold on until past the hour mark, but their opponents' dominance eventually paid off as Alejandro Romero equalised before Angel Romero netted a brace.

That saw the Greens drop to the foot of the group after the opening round of fixtures, and they will look to quickly climb up with a positive result against La Roja.

With four teams out of each five-team group progressing to the quarter-finals, Bolivia may find themselves competing with Chile for the last spot, given the strength of Argentina and Uruguay and Paraguay's winning start.

As a result, Cesar Farias's side will be desperate to put a win on the board before they face unenviable clashes with Argentina and Uruguay, the two favourites to progress from this group.

Chile Copa America form:
  • D

Chile form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Bolivia Copa America form:
  • L

Bolivia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

At this point, we can largely predict any Chile lineup, with the same core of ageing players still turning out for La Roja.

They boast an experienced spine, with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, defender Gary Medel, midfielder Arturo Vidal and forward Eduardo Vargas each having made over 95 international appearances.

One key player who will miss out is forward Alexis Sanchez, who has been ruled out for the entirety of the group stage with a foot injury.

Medel's centre-back partner Guillermo Maripan was arguably the hero in their draw with Argentina, as he was the rock at the back, rarely affording chances to the likes of Messi and Martinez.

Bolivia will be without forward Jaume Cuellar, who will serve a suspension after he was shown a red card in their recent defeat to Paraguay.

They will also be missing talisman Marcelo Moreno, who recently spoke out against CONMEBOL's management of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.

Juan Carlos Arce should come into the XI to replace Cuellar, offering some much-needed experience in the final third.

Chile possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Isla, Medel, Maripan, Mena; Vidal, Pulgar, Aranguiz; Palacios, Vargas, Meneses

Bolivia possible starting lineup:
Cordano; Quinteros, Jusino, Sagredo; Bejarano, Saavedra, Justiniano, Cespedes, Flores; Arce, Ramallo

We say: Chile 2-0 Bolivia

Even despite the older age profile of their squad, we fancy Chile to comfortably get past this Bolivia outfit on Friday.

We may see fatigue kick into this ageing side later in the tournament, but for now, they should get off to a positive start.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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