Chile will have their eyes firmly fixed on second place in World cup Group H betting as they look to progress to the second round from a section that looks wide open after strong favourites Spain.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side is one that has plenty of talent, and he will hope that star striker Humberto Suazo recovers from a thigh injury in time to feature in their opening clash with outsiders Honduras on Wednesday.
Suazo, who plays in Mexico for Monterrey, was the top scorer in the South American qualifying group but became one of the countless star players in the tournament whose short-term future was placed in doubt because of a training ground injury.
Thankfully for Chile fans, he returned to light work a couple of days later, but the injury was not what they needed as they closed their preparations for the clash in Nelspruit – a game they would see as their banker in the race for second, which most likely involves them and a very limited Switzerland side.
Group H has a very similar look about it to Group F Betting 2010 World Cup wise, with there being one team standing out from the rest who are all capable of claiming 2nd spot.
As for Suazo, he has only had a brief spell in European football so far in his lengthy career, and that only came in the second half of last season when he made the move over to Spain on loan and scored six goals in 17 outings for Real Zaragoza.
But his scoring record in South and Central America is as good as any player you could possibly find – how about these figures…40 goals in 40 games for San Luis, 40 in 62 for Audax Italiano, 52 in 54 for Colo-Colo and then 44 in 85 for Monterrey.
Add in another 18 goals in his 42 games for Chile and Suazo is a striker you would love to have on your side in a group where goals for teams not named Spain might be tough to come by.
He scored 10 of those in qualification for South Africa, two ahead of Brazil’s leading scorer Luis Fabiano, including a couple against Brazil and one more against fellow World Cup qualifiers Paraguay, just in case you were thinking he might be getting his goals against the smaller South American nations.
So it is understandable that there was a collective sigh of relief when Suazo returned to training and passed himself fit to face Honduras – no disrespect to possible replacement Esteban Paredes, but he doesn’t have the record Suazo brings to the party.