Soccer-Chile World Cup draw factbox

Reuters

SANTIAGO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Factbox on World Cup

qualifiers Chile:

Form and Prospects

Chile finished third in the South-American qualifiers,

behind Argentina and Colombia, and a great spell in the final

stages turned them into a respected and sometimes feared team

with players such as Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo

Vargas all on top form.

Some former players and analysts believe this could be the

best Chile side ever, with the likes of Sanchez and Vidal and a

tactical discipline not often seen in the team from the far west

of the continent.

Chile won 10 of 15 games played in 2013 and lost just two:

against Peru in the qualifiers in March and this month in a

friendly against their bogey team Brazil.

Among their victories was their excellent 2-0 win over

England at Wembley with a stunning two-goal performance from

Sanchez.

This campaign has many Chileans dreaming of going beyond the

last 16, the stage where they said goodbye to the World Cup in

their last two appearances in 1998 and 2010.

Chile were third as hosts in 1962.

Chile have outstanding attacking skills with Sanchez and

Vargas, but coach Jorge Sampaoli must resolve a recurring

problem: an unstable back line that shows fragility when they

play against the big guns.

While goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is sure of his place, the

defence sometimes shows a vulnerability that is the main aspect

Sampaoli must work on if he wants to be the man to take Chile to

the later stages of the competition after a 50 year gap.

In midfield, Eugenio Mena is a regular and played 14 times

in Chile's 15 matches this year. Juventus player Vidal is

another regular and a symbol of the team along with Sanchez.

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli.

The 43-year old coach was hired in December 2012 to replace

fellow Argentine Claudio Borghi.

A two-year spell in charge of local side Universidad de

Chile, winning three league titles and the Copa Sudamericana

(South America's Europa League equivalent), earned him the

respect of the local fans because of his inalienable attacking

game and his confessed admiration for compatriot Marcelo Bielsa,

who took Chile to the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup in South

Africa.

Sampaoli likes a 3-3-1-3 tactical diagram and his teams have

a tradition of stifling pressing and fast progression on the

pitch. He is a quiet man who gives few exclusive interviews and

has a distant but polite relationship with the press.

His arrival turned Chile from a lopsided team with behaviour

problems into a respected side. After he took command, Chile won

five matches out of seven in the qualifiers, with one draw and

one defeat.

Sampaoli was the mastermind behind the returns to the team

of Jorge Valdivia and David Pizarro after a long absence.

Valdivia was out for almost two years for indiscipline, while

Pizarro came back this year after an eight-year absence.

Key player: Alexis Sanchez

Barcelona forward Sanchez has become a fundamental player

for Chile and after a long drought in 2012, has emerged as the

key player this year.

"El Nino Maravilla" (Wonder boy) Sanchez, 24, scored eight

times this year for Chile, seven in his last eight appearances

with the team.

With him Chile have an enviable weapon that guarantees

goals, explosive attack and a headache prospect for rival

defenders. His attacking skills and vision are a trademark of

the Chilean team.

With his double at Wembley, Sanchez leapfrogged fellow

forward Humberto Suazo and is now fifth in the list of all time

top-scorers for Chile with 22 goals, 15 short of Marcelo Salas.

After the match at Wembley, England forward Wayne Rooney

said: "Sanchez is a great player. He's got everything to be one

of the best players in the world".

How they qualified; 3rd, South American zone

2011

Oct 7 Argentina A L 1-4 Fernandez

Oct 11 Peru H W 4-2 Ponce, Vargas, Medel

Suazo

Nov 11 Uruguay A L 0-4

Nov 15 Paraguay H W 2-0 Contreras, Campos

2012

Jun 2 Bolivia A W 2-0 Aranguiz, Vidal

Jun 9 Venezuela A W 2-0 Fernandez, Aranguiz

Sept 11 Colombia H L 1-3 Fernandez

Oct 12 Ecuador A L 1-3 og

Oct 16 Argentina H L 1-2 Felipe Gutierrez

2013

March 22 Peru A L 0-1

March 26 Uruguay H W 2-0 Paredes, Vargas

June 7 Paraguay A W 2-1 Vargas, Vidal

June 11 Bolivia H W 3-1 Vargas, Sanchez,

Vidal

Sep 6 Venezuela H W 3-0 Vargas, Gonzalez,

Vidal

Oct 11 Colombia A D 3-3 Sanchez 2, Vidal

Oct 15 Ecuador H W 2-1 Sanchez, Medel

World Cup record:

Previous appearances: 8 (1930, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1982,

1998, 2010)

Best performance: Third 1962

Odds: William Hill odds to win World Cup (Nov 2013): 33-1

(Compiled by Javier Leira, edited by Mike Collett)