Our football match prediction:
Thanks to a hard-fought win over Peru Chile climbed to fifth place in their World Cup qualifying group. La Roja, though, need to keep on improving their game if they are to book their place at the showpiece tournament in Russia and, no doubt, they face an uphill task in Thursday’s football match against Colombia. Jose Pekerman’s men played out a 2-2 draw with Uruguay in their last qualifying match and they are just one point clear of their next rivals Chile in the standings. Both teams are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Thursday’s clash at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez and we predict that they will share the spoils this time out. A man to watch in the home team will be Milan attacker Carlos Bacca, while Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez, who has been in a thrilling form this season, is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders.
Highlighted Player (James Rodriguez):
James Rodriguez is an attacking midfielder who plays for Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Colombian superstar played for the likes of Envigado and Banfield at the start of his career and he moved to Europe in 2010, joining Portuguese side Porto for a fee of €5.1 million. James scored 25 goals in 63 league appearances with the Dragons and in 2013 he joined Monaco. His transfer to the Ligue 1 side was the second most expensive in the history of Portuguese Primeira Liga (€45 million) and he signed a five-year contract with les Rouges et Blancs. The Colombian ace impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and, as a result, Real Madrid chiefs signed him on 22 July, 2014 for an undisclosed fee. However, reports in Spain suggested that the fee was approximately €80 million. Rodriguez scored 13 goals in 29 league appearances for Real Madrid in the 2014/2015 Primera Division campaign and he was in Gareth Bale’s shadow in the 2015/2016 season. James is well known for his technical skills, his vision and the ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Highlighted Team (Chile):
The Chilean Football Federation has been established in 1895 while Chile’s first-ever international game was a 3-1 loss to Argentina in 1910. The two countries formed a remarkable rivalry over the years and it was exactly against Argentina that Chile won their last major trophy – a 2015 Copa America title. Prior to their 2015 title Chile had been runners-up in the competition on four different occasions. Chile triumphed in a dramatic final on penalty kicks to reach their first tournament championship. In a symbolic turn of events, Chile start their 2016 Copa America Centenario with a rematch against Argentina. The most capped player of the Chile national team is Barcelona goalkeeper who has past his 100-match mark with the squad he has been a part of since 2004. Former Lazio and Juventus striker, the legendary Marcelo Salas is the leading scorer with 37 goals to his name. Key player to the current set up is Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez who has been the team’s leader on the pitch since 2006.