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Chile v Uruguay: Hosts full of confidence, warns Diaz

Chile’s Marcelo Diaz is confident his team-mates have what it takes to reach the semi-finals of the Copa America if they continue in the same vein against Uruguay on Wednesday.

The hosts are the competition’s top scorers with 10 from their three games as Jorge Sampaoli’s side booked their place in the last eight by topping Group A.

Having taken four points off Ecuador and Mexico, Sampaoli’s men hammered Bolivia 5-0 to set up a quarter-final tie with a Uruguay team yet to hit the heights, claiming just four points in their group campaign.

The defending champions have only scored twice – the long-term absence of suspended striker Luis Suarez undoubtedly a contributing factor – although captain Diego Godin returns from suspension for the clash in Santiago.

Regardless, Hamburg man Diaz is confident Chile can ask questions of Oscar Tabarez’s side if they stick to their game plan.

“Our game will not change at this time. Chile has a defined style and it has given us results,” Diaz said.

“It is true, we have not achieved anything yet, but we have been showing a better rhythm. We play against a very tough opponent in Uruguay, but we will find the necessary to win.

“We are focused on how we will beat Uruguay. We have worked on how to produce our best performance at home.

“We’re not thinking about how to beat them to headers, at that they are the best. Our possession is our best weapon, playing our best is our best weapon.”

While Tabarez can welcome back influential skipper Godin into his back line, full-back Alvaro Pereira will serve a suspension after accumulating two yellow cards.

It is up front that Tabarez has problems, with Edinson Cavani struggling to fire in a central position. Reports suggest the Uruguay boss could opt for a three-man defence with Cristian Rodriguez used as one of two full-backs.

The city of Santiago was shut temporarily on Monday due to smog concerns, although things have since improved in the capital, with Godin playing down any fears over the pollution. 

“We saw on TV about the pollution, but we have not discussed anything with the doctor,” Godin said, before turning his attentions to the pressures Chile may face.

“Chile are favourite. They are local and want to win the title for the first time, they are with their people and have that pressure.

“We know it is their opportunity to earn a historic title.”

Tue 23 Jun, 2015
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