Marcelo Diaz insists Chile will not rise to any provocation from Uruguay players in their World Cup 2018 qualifier at the Estadio Centenario on Tuesday.
When the pair met at Copa America 2015, Mauricio Isla earned the hosts a 1-0 win over the 2011 winners in the quarter-finals.
The meeting was overshadowed by a confrontation between Gonzalo Jara and Edinson Cavani, with the Uruguay striker dismissed for reacting to the Chilean prodding his backside with a finger by raising his hand to his opponent’s face.
Jara was retrospectively suspended for the remainder of the tournament while Cavani missed his nation’s first two World Cup qualifiers as a result of his ban.
Diaz has called on his team to ignore any subsequent goading from the opposition on Tuesday and to use possession to break down what he expects to be a defensive opponent.
“What happened between Jara and Cavani is part of football. We will not fall into any provocations and try to bring home the points,” he said.
“We know that we cannot fight with the wall they have. Chile’s strength is playing with the ball at feet. We hope to have the highest possession against Uruguay in order not to suffer.
“The Centenario is one of the most difficult to play in, but Chile’s idea will not change.”
Both sides saw 100 per cent starts to their respective campaigns come to an end on Thursday, with Chile held to a 1-1 draw by Colombia and Uruguay suffering a 2-1 loss to table-topping Ecuador.
Alvaro Gonzalez suggested Oscar Tabarez’s side are calm about facing Jorge Sampaoli’s team, but can still take the points with their combative style in Montevideo.
“We want to approach the game with a cool head looking for our best form,” he said.
“We will be strong, as always, and when we have the ball we will try to play football, because that’s the way to win.
“I do not think that whoever has possession will win. Uruguay is not characterised by its possession and has won many games, including against Chile.
“There are many reasons why people are excited. Chile are the team that knocked us out of the Copa America, but also because of what Uruguay is doing and because we are playing against a great opponent.”
Gonzalez is Tabarez’s only worry after he pulled out of Saturday’s training session early, though he confirmed it was only a precaution and expects to be available.
Sampaoli afforded Alexis Sanchez – who Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger recently claimed is suffering from exhaustion – a day off on Saturday in order to help the forward recuperate ahead of another start.
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