International

Beware wounded Brazil, says Sampaoli

2015-10-08 14:59
Jorge Sampaoli (AFP)

Santiago - Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli warned his team to beware a wounded Brazil as he revealed injury concerns over Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal ahead of their opening 2018 World Cup qualifying clash.

Newly-crowned Copa America champions Chile face Brazil in Santiago on Thursday, with the home side desperate to improve a poor record against the five-time world champions, who they have not beaten since 2000.

Brazil are still smarting over a disappointing quarter-final exit at the Copa America, which followed last year's traumatic 7-1 mauling by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals.

However, Sampaoli is adamant that the Brazilians remain a potent force and admitted Wednesday he would have preferred to have launched Chile's qualification campaign against another side.

"Starting the qualifiers against Brazil is the worst possible scenario," Sampaoli said.

"They are still the greatest power in the world, despite all the criticism, and they have elite players. Starting against Brazil or Argentina is much riskier than playing other teams."

Sampaoli meanwhile revealed that Arsenal star Sanchez and Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal had both linked up with the national squad carrying knocks.

Vidal has been nursing a bruised knee while Sanchez tweaked a groin during his superb two-goal display in Arsenal's win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Vidal has trained separately this week while Sanchez has been undergoing physiotherapy at Chile's training camp.

"They are both in the same condition. I can't confirm at this stage if either will be fit to face Brazil," Sampaoli said.

"Of course they are very valuable to us but I am confident that if they are not available we have the squad to be competitive against Brazil or Peru," he added.

Read more on:    swc 2018  |  jorge sampaoli  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.