Thursday 24th March. 11:30PM. Live streaming available on Bet365
European teams are more concerned with this summer’s Euro 2016, but the road to Russia is well underway in South America and we’re now into matchday five of the 18-game double round robin.
The pick of this week’s matches brings a repeat of last year’s Copa America final as Chile entertain Argentina. While it’s hardly panic time, both teams are in major need of a win, particularly with the centenary edition of the Copa America fast approaching.
With no work on to worry about on Good Friday, there’s no need for an excuse to stay up and watch this clash of the titans. And with Bet365, you’ll be able to bet on the action too.
Pizzi’s Chile Out To Gain Driving Seat
As it stands, Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men occupy fifth spot in the CONMEBOL qualifying phase, which would see them progress to the intercontinental play-off. However, a win at the Estadio Nacional could see them climb into the automatic progression zones. Even at this early stage, that’s exactly where they want to be.
Whatever happens, it’ll be a huge night for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo as the Barcelona custodian is set to make his 100th cap for the Roja. The national team skipper has played a starring role for his country, particularly in last year’s incredible Copa victory. However, he could be in for a tough night against arguably the most fearsome attacking unit on the international stage.
Chile won’t be relying solely on their captain, though. This is a squad blessed with talent and the likes of Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medal provide quality all over the pitch. If they start well, there’s no reason that they can’t register another big result against Albiceleste.
It should be a thrilling atmosphere to say the least.
Can Argies Make Amends For Copa Heartbreak?
Argentina have suffered a bit of a post-Copa hangover and, following the disappointment of final defeats in both that tournament and the previous summer’s World Cup, Gerardo Martino’s men are now sitting sixth in qualifying with just one win from the opening four fixtures.
On a brighter note, that victory did come in their last game, which was on the road to Colombia. The visitors will still be extremely confident about finding automatic qualification for the forthcoming World Cup, but they cannot afford too many more slip-ups and will want to make a big statement with an impressive win in Santiago.
Martino’s squad certainly boasts the talent and experience to thrive. The likes of Setrgio Romero, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero have all been around the block enough times to know what’s expected of them. Meanwhile, star man Lionel Messi will always cause problems for the opposing defence.
If they perform to their potential, Argentina will clinch a vital three points on the road to Russia. But that’s a lot easier said than done. It should be a cracking contest, and you can watch the action unfold live on Bet365. With a little luck, we’ll be picking up some winnings ahead of the bank holiday weekend too.
Chile v Argentina Betting
Despite conceding home advantage, Argentina are the favourites for this clash. However, Bet365’s odds of 7/5 underline the feeling that it might not be plain sailing. The hosts, meanwhile, can be backed at 21/10, which is the exact same price as the draw.
This certainly won’t be easy for the visitors, but they are more than capable of showing their quality. And if one man is going to ruin Bravo’s clean sheet, then it has to be his Barcelona teammate.
Quite frankly, odds of 6/4 for Messi to score in any match has to be taken. It’s by no means a guarantee, but we have to back the magician.
The opening goal in this clash is likely to have a huge impact on proceedings. If Argentina bag it, we think they will hold on to a precious three points.
In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if they extended the lead. It’s an outside shot, but we think it’s well worth the interest.