FIFA Confederations Cup: Chile could be without Alexis Sanchez for opener against Cameroon
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FIFA Confederations Cup: Chile could be without Alexis Sanchez for opener against Cameroon

Copa America champions Chile will take on African Cup of Nations holders Cameroon in their opening game at the FIFA Confederations Cup but could be without both Alexis Sanchez and Claudio Bravo for the game.

football Updated: Jun 18, 2017 16:26 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press
FIFA Confederations Cup,Confederations Cup 2017,Chile national football team
Alexis Sanchez might just be unavailable for selection for Chile’s Confederations Cup opener. (AP)

Alexis Sanchez has sprained his ankle in training and may miss Chile’s Confederations Cup opener against Cameroon.

Chilean coach Juan Antonio Pizzi says the Arsenal forward hurt his left ankle in training Thursday and has only done light training in the gym since then.

Pizzi said the Chile staff is “optimistic from the images we’ve seen, but we understand and know that the player still feels pain, and that’s why we’ll wait until tomorrow to decide if he plays.”

Chile could open its Confederations Cup campaign without two leading players. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has not played since sustaining a calf injury in April, and has been ruled out of Sunday’s game.

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“We don’t risk any player who is not in condition to play and who could aggravate an injury,” Pizzi said, when asked if Bravo could return for the South American champion’s second game Thursday against Germany.

“We’re very careful with the health of our players, and because of that we always act with the responsibility required by our position.”

Cameroon are in the tournament having surprised a lot of people by winning the Africa Cup of nations earlier this year. Whilst they are the underdogs in this game, they could easily be the tournament’s surprise package.

it helps that a large number of the players in their squad ply their trade in Europe in places like Greece, France and even Turkey.

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Meanwhile Chile have become something of a modern powerhouse in South American football, doing well in the 2014 World Cup. They followed this up with back-to-back Copa America wins in 2015 and 2016.

The South American’s are clearly favourites going into the game. Even without Alexis Sanchez, the presence of Arturo Vidal in midfield and Gary Medel in defence might be too much for Cameroon to contend with.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 16:06 IST