Friday's slate of CONMEBOL action features some of the most exciting matchups the continent has seen so far in qualifying. Among the early games is this one, pitting the second- and third-placed teams in South America against each other.
Chile have been on a role since they appointed Jorge Sampaoli as head coach and have won their last four consecutive qualifiers. They looked like they were going to struggle to make the playoff spot four rounds ago, but are now in a position to clinch a World Cup berth on Friday. Sampaoli's ability to adapt his tactics to different situations has translated well at international level, with the team winning in a variety of formations with both three- and four-man defenses.
Meanwhile, Colombia have been consistently solid throughout qualifying and are playing some of the most entertaining football anywhere in the world. Anchored by Radamel Falcao up top, Colombia have surged towards the top of the table in CONMEBOL and need no outside help to qualify on Friday.
Colombia have stuck with two-striker formations throughout qualifying due to their depth at the position, as well as the number of box-to-box midfielders they have at their disposal. Chile have played with a back four during their last two matches, but don't be surprised to see them go back to a three-man defense to give them a favorable matchup against Falcao and his likely strike partner, Teofilo Gutierrez.
Match date/time: Friday, 5 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia
Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.)
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