Jun 30, 2015 at 12.30am UK at ​Santiago
Chile
2-1
Peru
Vargas (42', 64')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Medel (60' og.)
Zambrano (7')
Zambrano (20')

Preview: Chile vs. Peru

Sports Mole looks ahead to the first Copa America quarter-final between hosts Chile and Peru.

Just 90 minutes separates hosts Chile from a place in the final of this year's Copa America.

Standing in their way at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago this evening will be a Peru side that will be looking to go one better than four years ago.


Chile

Head coach Jorge Sampaoli of Chile reacts after his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Chile at Maracana on June 18, 2014© Getty Images

As hosts, the pressure placed on the players by an expectant and demanding nation at a major tournament has been known to have a detrimental impact on some teams.

To Chile's credit, so far they appear to have dealt with that burden with ease and have arguably been the competition's best outfit.

During the group stages, La Roja scored 10 goals, which was six more than any other nation managed, and they have reached this stage thanks to a 1-0 victory in an ill-tempered affair against defending champions Uruguay.

Ahead of this outing against Peru, it is expected that the level of expectation will be cranked up either further. After all, having been dubbed Chile's 'Golden Generation', there is much hope among supporters that the wait for a first Copa America crown will be ended this time around.

However, being the home side does not seem to hold an advantage as far as the Copa America is concerned, with only two of the last seven hosts going on to lift the trophy.

The last four will also be alien territory for many of those of a Chilean persuasion, with this being the country's first semi-final appearance since 1999.

Recent form: LWWDWW


Peru

Peru's forward Paolo Guerrero (L) and Colombia's defender Jeison Murillo vie for the ball during their 2015 Copa America football championship match, in Temuco, Chile, on June 21, 2015© Getty Images

Just as they did in 2011, the Peruvians have defied the odds and the doubters to reach the semi-finals of the Copa America.

Drawn alongside heavyweights Brazil and Colombia, Ricardo Gareca's men managed to finish in second spot ahead of the Colombians, which secured a quarter-final date with their Bolivian counterparts.

Up until that point, striker Paolo Guerrero, who was the tournament's leading scorer four years ago, had struggled to make much of an impact.

However, he put that right in Temuco by scoring a hat-trick, which elevated him to the top of the standings once again alongside Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal.

The former Bayern Munich frontman is also bound to have fond memories of playing against Chile, having scored his first ever international goal against them in a World Cup qualifier back in 2004. Twelve months later, he fired in a second goal against the men in red.

Since winning the tournament in 1975, Peru have reached this stage of the competition on four occasions, but they have never been able to progress beyond that.

Recent form: WDLWDW


Team News

Gonzalo Jara of Chile and Neymar of Brazil comnpete for the ball during the international friendly match between Brazil and Chile at the Emirates Stadium on March 29, 2015

The win over Uruguay came at a cost for Chile and in particular defender Gonzalo Jara, who has been suspended for three matches by COMNEBOL.

The former West Bromwich Albion player has been handed the punishment for poking his finger into the backside of Edinson Cavani, who was sent off for his reaction.

It remains to be seen who will replace Jara, but there have been suggestions that head coach Jorge Sampaoli will turn to the experience of Jose Pedro Fuenzalida.

As for Peru, it would be a surprise if Gareca were to make any alterations to his side following the impressive victory over Bolivia last time out.

Chile possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Isla, Medel, Jara, Mena; Aranguiz, Diaz, Vidal, Valdivia; Sanchez, Vargas

Peru possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Advincula, Zambrano, Ascues; Vargas, Retamoso, Cueva, Yotun, Farfan; Guerrero, Pizarro


Head To Head

As nations that share a border, this encounter is known as the 'Clasico del Pacifico'.

Being so close to each other, it's an encounter that can sometimes see tempers flare, as was the case during last year's friendly. It was a game that Chile won 3-0, but Peru had Rinaldo Cruzado sent off after just 39 minutes.

In total, the Chileans lead the head to head record 41-21, with 15 draws having also been played out.

They last met in the Copa America in 2011 when a stoppage-time own goal from Peru's Andre Carrillo handed Chile a 1-0 group win. In keeping with the fixture's tradition, both players ended the contest with 10 men.


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We say: Chile 2-1 Peru

Peru have impressed so far, but with the greatest of respect, they've faced minnow nations or badly out of form bigger sides. Chile should provide much sterner opposition and despite having the weight on their shoulders of being the home nation, they have coped with it well so far and that is likely to continue in this game.


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Peru's forward Paolo Guerrero (L) and Colombia's defender Jeison Murillo vie for the ball during their 2015 Copa America football championship match, in Temuco, Chile, on June 21, 2015
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