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Peru won´t sit back – Sampaoli

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Copa America semi-final opponents Peru pose a bigger attacking threat than Uruguay did in the quarter-finals.

The host nation takes on Ricardo Gareca’s side at the Estadio Nacional on Monday with a place in the final against either Argentina or Paraguay at stake. 

Sampaoli said his team are in for a stern test despite their tag as favourites, against a team that defeated Bolivia 3-1 in their quarter-final tie courtesy of a Paolo Guerrero hat-trick.

Chile silenced Uruguay 1-0 in their last-eight fixture in Santiago on Wednesday, but Sampaoli feels Peru will be more attacking than 2011 Copa winners Uruguay.

“With respect to being ‘favourites’, I don’t agree,” Sampaoli told a news conference. 

“We will face a team that is confident and which has a stronger attacking game than Uruguay. 

“The opponents which we have to face are playing well and are doing well against strong teams.

“They have four key players [Christian Cueva, Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero and Claudio Pizarro] in the final third, similar to Ecuador, two feisty midfielders in [Josepmir] Ballon and [Carlos] Lobaton and quick wingers.

“If we keep the ball well we can control their strikers, who are very dangerous.”

Chile are preparing for the last-four showdown without first-choice central defender Gonzalo Jara, who has been handed a three-match ban by CONMEBOL for an incident with Edinson Cavani which led to the Uruguay striker’s dismissal in a bad-tempered clash in Santiago.

“We are looking at alternatives – either man for man or systematic,” Sampaoli said.

“We have, among the 23 players, two for every position. The player that we pick will have the security of having already trained with us.

“To replace an important player would be difficult but our obligation is to have all the players ready when called upon to play.”

Mon 29 Jun, 2015
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