Our prediction for this match:
Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos will host Saturday’s friendly between Chile and Bolivia. Since South America World Cup qualifiers were postponed, both Chile and Bolivia will use this match to test as many players as possible for the upcoming challenges. La Roja boss Martin Lasarte will count on Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel, Jean Beausejour, and Fabian Orellana for Saturday’s clash, but both Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal have been omitted.
La Verde, on the other hand, have been struggling at the back in the WC qualifiers, with the team conceding 12 goals in the process. Bolivia are not regarded as good travellers, and even though Chile head into the match with a severely-weakened squad, we are tempted to put our money on La Roja. Cruzeiro attacker Marcelo Martins Moreno will be the man to watch in the away team. In the previous meeting between the two teams in Chile La Roja outplayed La Verde 3-0.
Highlighted Player (Gary Medel):
Gary Medel is a versatile defensive midfielder who currently plays for Inter Milan in Serie A. The Chilean professional is well-known for this work-rate and untiring approach along with his aggressive, physically demanding and hard-tackling style of play. It is these qualities that earned him the sobriquet of “Chilean Pitbull”.
Medel started his professional career with Universidad Catolica as a youth player before moving to Boca Juniors. He followed it up with a stint in La Liga with Sevilla. Medel was also a key member with Cardiff City, which was his next destination. The relegation of Cardiff meant that Medel moved to Inter Milan. A full international with over 80 caps for Chile, Medel has represented his nation at two FIFA World Cups and an equal number of Copa America tournaments.
He was a key member of Chilean team that won the 2015 Copa America and was subsequently named in the ‘Team of the tournament’.
Highlighted Team (Bolivia):
Bolivian Football Federation has been established in 1926 and it is one of the 10 member of South American Football Confederation. Managed by Julio César Baldivieso, La Verde have gone through difficult times since their second place finish at Copa America 1997.
Three-time World Cup participants have last appeared at the global stage in 1994 and they have never gone past the first round on any of the three tournaments, scoring only one goal at the tournament held in the USA. Bolivia took part in 24 Copa America tournaments since their debut in 1926 and the most prominent result was their 1963 title.
Luis Hector Cristaldo and Marco Sandy are the two players with most caps for Bolivia with their 93 international appearances, while Joaquin Botero’s name still stands at the top of the scoring charts with the former Bolivian international netting 20 during his time with the national team.