CHILE certainly have something about them this year and can be considered one of the dark horses for a tournament staged on their own continent.


Outright odds: 50/1

To win group: 4/1

To qualify: 5/6


Full squad: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica), Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus), Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutierrez (Twente), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo), Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabian Orellana (Celta).

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli

World Cup record: Third (1962, as hosts), round of 16 (1998, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent first): Qualified for successive World Cups for the first time in their history (they did play in 1962 and 1966 but as hosts in the former tournament) in third place behind Argentina and Colombia. Scored 29 goals in their 16 fixtures but also conceded 25.

v Ecuador (home) 2-1 (HT 2-0) Sanchez 33, Medel 37

v Colombia (away) 3-3 (HT 3-0) Vidal 18p, Sanchez 21, 29

v Venezuela (home) 3-0 (HT 2-0) Vargas 10, Gonzalez 29, Vidal 85

v Bolivia (home) 3-1 (HT 2-1) Vargas 16, Sanchez 17, Vidal 90+2

v Paraguay (away) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Vargas 41, Vidal 56

v Uruguay (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Parades 10, Vargas 77

v Peru (away) 0-1 (0-0)

v Argentina (home) 1-2 (HT 0-2) Gutierrez 90+1

v Ecuador (away) 1-3 (HT 1-1) OG 25

v Colombia (home) 1-3 (HT 1-0) Fernandez 41

v Venezuela (away) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Fernandez 85, Aranguiz 90+1)

v Bolivia (away) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Aranguiz 45+2, Vidal 83)

v Paraguay (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Contreras 28, Campos 86

v Uruguay (away) 0-4 (HT 0-2)

v Peru (home) 4-2 (HT 2-0) Ponce 2, Vargas 18, Medel 48, Suazo 63p)

v Argentina (away) 1-4 (HT 0-2) Fernandez 57

Goalscorers: The big names came to the fore during qualifying with Eduardo Vargas and Arturo Vidal on target five times while Alexis Sanchez scored four.

Half-time/full-time: Chile have the look of a side who like to start fast with an attacking dynamic, attacking approach. This was borne out to some extent in qualifying with the majority of their goals coming prior to the break. Eight of their nine wins had them ahead at the interval.

Clean sheets: Chile kept just five clean sheets during their arduous qualifying process which involved a total of 16 games.

Win to nil: Chile won all five games where the opposition failed to score.

Cards: Chile's disciplinary problems surfaced again in qualifying with two straight red cards being picked up, plus 33 bookings.

Other competitive internationals: None. The last Copa America was back in 2011.

Build-up (most recent first): A famous win at Wembley back in November was immediately followed by a narrow defeat to Brazil. Germany also edged out the Chileans, who needed to come back from two down to beat Egypt ahead of the tournament.

v Egypt (home) 3-2 (HT 1-2) Diaz 26, Vargas 60, 78

v Germany (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)

v Costa Rica (home) 4-0 (HT 1-0) Albornoz 13, Hernandez 51, 54, Munoz 79

v Brazil (away) 1-2 (HT 0-1) Vargas 71

v England (away) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Sanchez 7, 90

Team verdict: Chile certainly have something about them this year and can be considered one of the dark horses for a tournament staged on their own continent.

Their form dipped during qualification but officials moved swiftly to install Jorge Sampaoli, who has built a team that thrives going forward and will be pleasing on the eye.

The fact they come up against Spain and the Netherlands should give them a chance to fly under the radar somewhat with a little less expectation and that ability to attack and create chances at pace is enough to give any defence at this tournament palpitations.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic about their prospects despite tackling a group that contains the finalists from four years ago and a victory over Australia in the opener would give them plenty of confidence to build on.

If they do emerge and enter the knockout phase, they will be high on the list of rivals the more-fancied sides will not want to face.