Bolivia Vs. Chile: A Tough Test For La Roja In La Paz

Between Chile's ambitious style and their injuries in defense, they haven't been great at preventing goals thus far in World Cup qualifying. In their first three matches, La Roja allowed 10 goals, with four of those coming against a Uruguay side that absolutely ripped them to pieces on November 11. In their next match, they recorded a shutout, but that was against a terribly unambitious Paraguay team playing for a road draw.

They're facing Bolivia on Saturday, hardly an offensive juggernaut. They're almost certainly the worst team in South America at the moment and they've yet to turn their notorious home-field advantage in La Paz into any points in qualifying. Still, they're always dangerous at home, and Chile is without some of their most experienced players.

Waldo Ponce and Gonzalo Jara have been kept out of the team by bad club form and injuries, while automatic starter Mauricio Isla is out purely due to injury. Pablo Contreras is in the team, but getting up there in age. This means the most experienced starter in the Chile back line is likely to be Marcos Gonzalez, who has a whopping 11 caps. This is provided that Arturo Vidal isn't moved to central defense, which is hardly a move that adds experience or discipline to a back line.

In that spot, Claudio Borghi is simply stuck with what he has, and the decisions he makes probably won't have a significant impact on his team. The biggest choice he has to make is whether to go with a solid center of midfield or start playmaker (and non-existent defender) Matias Fernandez behind his front three. Against a Bolivia side that counters very quickly at home, he might opt to play a couple of deep-sitting central midfielders, or at least one player that fits that description alongside Vidal.

Chile have the attacking talent to make all of these tactical dilemmas go away, but it's been a while since Humberto Suazo and Alexis Sanchez were at their best. If they can get back to playing like they did under Marcelo Bielsa, Borghi can go back to not worrying about protecting his defense. No one wants to see Chile move away from their entertaining 'three forwards and a playmaker' attacking style. Kickoff is at 4:10 p.m. ET from La Paz on Saturday.

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