World Cup 2014 squads: Chile names preliminary roster, includes Vidal

Dave Sandford

Jorge Sampaoli has his 30-man preliminary roster, headlined by Arturo Vidal.

Arturo Vidal is battling a knee injury, but he is on Chile's 30-man World Cup preliminary roster. The Juventus midfielder's status was in doubt, but he will be in training camp and, presumably, in Brazil.

If Vidal is fit, Jorge Sampaoli's team could have an excellent midfield. Marcelo Diaz was terrific in qualifying, while Charles Aranguiz has played very well for Internacional. They also have the experience of Matias Fernandez and Jorge Valdivia available, making them very formidable through the middle.

The defense is where Chile struggles, having allowed 25 goals in qualifying. Gary Medel and Marcos Gonzalez anchor the back line in front of captain Claudio Bravo, but they struggled throughout qualifying and teams will definitely feel as if they can scored multiple goals against La Roja.

Up top, Alexis Sanchez is the star and his form for Barcelona has Chile optimistic he can carry the load, while Eduardo Vargas will likely join him. The question is what Sampaoli does with his other forward spot and whether he continues to use Valdivia as a false nine, which looks likely.

Chile qualified for the World Cup with relative ease, finishing third in CONMEBOL, although being grouped with Spain, Netherlands and Australia will make things tough in Brazil. Four years ago, Chile made it out of their group before being beaten by Brazil, 3-0, in the round of 16.

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica), Paulo Garces (O'Higgins).

Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), Marcos Gonzalez (Union Espanola), Enzo Andia (Universidad Catolica), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus).

Midfielders: Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutierrez (Twente), Rodrigo Millar (Atlas), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Pablo Hernandez (O'Higgins), Matias Fernandez (Fiorentina), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo).

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Gustavo Canales (Union Espanola), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabian Orellana (Celta).

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