We have reached the final week of the Apertura season and three teams are still in with a chance of taking out the title. The three in contention are Universidad de Chile and Colo Colo who are on the same points and Santiago Wanderers, who are a further point behind. What makes this battle even more interesting is that Colo Colo and Santiago Wanderers will face each other on the pitch whilst Universidad de Chile will host Unión La Calera. Both matches will kick off simultaneously on Saturday at 5pm local time. What follows is a brief outline of what each team requires to take the title this season.
Current position: 1st
What do they need to do win the title?: For los albos to claim their 31st Primera Division title in the final round of the season they will need to defeat or draw with fellow title challengers Santiago Wanderers and hope Universidad de Chile lose their match. A loss is out of the question.
Universidad de Chile
Current position: 2nd
What do they need to do win the title?: After leading for the way for the vast majority of the season, a stumble in week fifteen against Barnechea means that La U are in the similar position to Colo Colo in that they require their fierce rivals to lose or draw in the final round and pick up a win themselves in the process to claim the title in the regular season. They face Unión La Calera in the final with the seventh placed team being more than a worthy opponent after they held out Santiago Wanderers for seventy-eight minutes in the penultimate round of the league. A loss is out of the question.
Current position: 3rd
What do they need to do win the title?: If the Wanderers are to claim their fourth Primera Division title, and their first since 2001, their equation is simple albeit a tough one. Defeat Colo Colo and hope Universidad de Chile either draw with or lose to Unión La Calera.
In all likelihood the 2014 Apertura title will not be decided in the final week of the season as we predict both Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile will pick up wins to force a playoff. Colo Colo have been a relentless force in the last month or so, having won their last seven matches in a row, and their big game experience should be enough to see off the impressive Santiago Wanderers who will have the home advantage. That’s not to belittle the Wanderers who themselves are currently on a nine match winning streak and who if we are completely honest are our sentimental favourites to take the title but when it counts Colo Colo usually makes it count.
Unión La Calera, in theory, should not pose any problems for Universidad de Chile, as their recent form has been somewhat erratic, losing three out of their last five matches. The only thing that may count against La U is nerves, which were quite evident in their recent draw with Barnechea, but with Patricio Rubio in fine goalscoring form of late a win is all but guaranteed in the Estadio Nacional.
If a playoff is required it is more than likely to be held outside the capital, with reports suggesting that Santiago Wanderers home ground the Estadio Elias Figueroa will be the most likely venue.