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Chile-Switzerland preview notes

Monday, June 21, 2010
Jun 21
EA Match Sim: Chile vs. Switzerland
Group H: Chile vs. Switzerland

Posted by ESPN Stats & Information

Chile versus Switzerland, Monday
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium -- Port Elizabeth, South Africa


• Switzerland stunned Spain in its opening game and looks to build on that surprise 1-0 win. Chile won its opening game 1-0 against Honduras. A victory would put the winner in control of the group.

Contrast in styles: Switzerland will play bunker defense and look to catch Chile on the break. Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa believes in an aggressive attacking approach and is expected to stay with that philosophy against the Swiss.

• Swiss shutout streak: With the win over Spain, Switzerland extended its World Cup shutout streak to five games, which ties the all-time mark (Italy, 1990). At kickoff, Switzerland's shutout streak will be at 484 minutes.

Series history

• Switzerland leads 2-1, including a friendly victory in 2007, which happened to be Bielsa's debut as Chile coach.

What to look for

• Alexis Sanchez: Chile's "Wonder Kid" lived up to his moniker against Honduras, producing one of the most entertaining individual performances of the finals so far.

• Humberto Suazo's hamstring injury: Chile's prolific goal scorer sustained a hamstring injury in a warm-up game against Israel on May 30 and missed the Honduras game. He may return to the lineup.

• Philippe Senderos out: Switzerland's defensive anchor sprained his right ankle during the Spain game and will miss the Chile and Honduras matches.

• Swiss striker and captain Alexander Frei missed the Spain game with an ankle injury. He is doubtful for the Chile game as well.

From the research room

• Chile has failed to win its last eight World Cup fixtures against European sides (five defeats and three ties).

• The Swiss managed only 132 touches in the opposition half in their victory over Spain, fewer than any other side in the first round.

• Switzerland will have a notable size advantage in this match. The average height of the Swiss starters against Spain was 6 feet, 1.1 inches -- the third-tallest mark by any team in its opening match of the tournament, trailing only Serbia and New Zealand (tied at 6 feet, 1.5 inches). Chile, on the other hand, had the second-shortest starting lineup for Game 1, with an average of 5 feet, 9.6 inches (a tenth-of-an-inch taller than South Africa).

• With an average age of 24 years, 9 months, Chile's starting lineup against Honduras was the youngest fielded by any team in its opening match.

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