COPA AMERICA

Chile national team squad Copa America 2021: selected players, absences...

Chile begin their 2021 Copa America campaign against South American neighbours Argentina – a game which Alexis Sánchez will miss through injury.

Chile national team squad Copa America 2021: selected players, absences...
CARLOS PARRA AFP

Chile get their 2021 Copa América campaign underway against familiar rivals on Monday. Martin Lasarte’s team face South American neighbours Argentina at Estádio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro. It will be the latest in a long line of official encounters between these two nations – Argentina is the country which Chile have faced times than anyone else (92), and they have crossed paths several time in this tournament – most recently being the 2015 final, which La Roja won in the penalty shoot-out after it ended goalless after extra-time.

On target from 11 yards that night was Alexis Sánchez but he is set to miss tonight’s game, and the rest of the first round, after picking up a muscular injury in training on Saturday. Lasarte has tried out with César Pinares as a replacement, changing the system from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 but also has other options such as Carlos Palacios and Blackburn Rovers’ Ben Brereton.

With Brazil and Argentina as the bookies’ favourities to win this edition of the Copa América, Chile’s chances seem slim to say the least. La Roja have struggled to rebuild and rejuvenate the golden generation of players who lifted consecutive titles in 2015 and 2016. Several of the players who lifted the trophy five years ago such as Claudio Bravo, Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas, all now well into their 30s, are expected to be in the starting line-up against Argentina tonight.

Chile's record at the Copa América

Chile have been crowned champions twice and ended as runners-up on four occasions (1955, 1956, 1979 and 1987). As for their recent form, they have won just three of their last 10 games, including friendlies. This will be Chile’s second encounter with Argentina in a fortnightthey met in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Santiago de Estero on 3 June. Leo Messi and Alexis were the scorers in the 1-1 draw.

After facing Argentina, Chile’s Copa América campaign will continue with matches against Bolivia (18 June), Uruguay (21 June) and Paraguay (24 June).

Chile Copa America squad

River Plate centre-back Paulo Díaz was expected to make Lasarte’s Copa América squad list but was left out due to concerns about his fitness (he tested positive for Covid-19 in May). Others who were excluded from the list, mainly for technical decision include: Jean Beausejour, Fabián Orellana, Luis Jiménez, Yonathan Andía, Juan Leiva, Bryan Carrasco, Brayan Cortés, Pablo Parra, Ignacio Saavedra, Angelo Henríquez and Erick Wiemberg.

Of the 28 players listed in the Chile squad, 16 of them will be appearing at the tournament for the first time. Three players - Luciano Arriagada (Colo Colo), Marcelino Núñez (Universidad Católica) and Pablo Aránguiz (Universidad de Chile), have received their first call-up to the senior side.

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Betis), Gabriel Arias (Racing), Gabriel Castellón (Huachipato).

Defenders: Daniel González (Santiago Wanderers), Mauricio Isla (Flamengo), Guillermo Maripán (Monaco), Gary Medel (Bologna), Eugenio Mena (Racing), Enzo Roco (Fatih Karagümrük), Francisco Sierralta (Watford), Sebastián Vegas (Monterrey).

Midfielders: Tomás Alarcón (O’Higgins), Charles Aránguiz (Bayer Leverkusen), Pablo Aránguiz (Universidad de Chile) Claudio Baeza (Toluca), Pablo Galdames (Vélez Sarsfield), Marcelino Núñez (Universidad Católica), Carlos Palacios (Internacional), César Pinares (Grêmio), Erick Pulgar (Fiorentina), Arturo Vidal (Inter Milan).

Forwards: Luciano Arriagada (Colo Colo), Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers), Clemente Montes (Universidad Católica), Jean Meneses (León), Felipe Mora (Portland Timbers), Alexis Sánchez (Inter Milan), Eduardo Vargas (Atlético Mineiro).