After a strong preparatory tour, La Rojita prepare for their first clash in the under 20 World Cup, with Egypt the first opposition. The African champions have only lost two matches in their preparations, falling against Montenegro and Brazil.
The biggest doubt for coach Mario Salas is Ángelo Henríquez, who has been troubled by fever in the leadup to the clash. The former Universidad de Chile striker did not take part in the qualifying matches due to club duty with Wigan, but adds an extra option for the attack.
Chile will face Egypt, England and Iraq in their Group E matches, with the winner of the group facing second place from Group D (Greece, Paraguay, Mali, Mexico) and the runner up going head to head with the winner Group F (New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Croatia, Uruguay). Four of the six teams which finish third in their groups will also move to the round of 16.
The last Chilean effort at the Under 20 World Cup was the 2007 campaign in Montreal, which kickstarted the careers of players like Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sánchez and Matías Fernández on the world stage.
Many of the La Rojita players will be under the microscope of foreign clubs, with the tournament an excellent opportunity for the young stars to prove themselves.
The likely lineup for the debut against Egypt will be: Darío Melo; Felipe Campos, Igor Lichnovsky, Andrés Robles , Christian Cuevas; César Fuentes, Sebastián Martínez, Nicolás Maturana, Bryan Rabello; Ángelo Henríquez, Nicolás Castillo.
Chile’s final practice game was a 3-1 victory over Australia, while fellow South Americans Colombia failed to stamp their dominance in their opening clash, finishing with a 1-1 draw.