Chile and Ecuador can serve up an entertaining curtain-raiser when they meet in tonight's Copa America
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At half past midnight, the 2015 Copa America gets going, with hosts Chile entertaining Ecuador in what should be a thrilling encounter.
Chile are rarely boring to watch, with Jorge Sampaoli employing an attacking formation that saw them win many friends at the 2014 World Cup and come within inches of knocking out Brazil at the last sixteen stage.
As hosts, La Roja should go well in this competition, with Alexis Sanchez having had a breather since helping Arsenal to win the FA Cup final and the Gunner has 26 goals in 80 appearances for the national team.
This isn’t a team dripping with world class talent like Argentina, although Napoli’s Eduardo Vargas is a fine performer in attack, while Arturo Vidal is the star turn in central midfield and should provide plenty of defensive cover against an Ecuador side who also featured at the World Cup.
La Tri have nothing to lose from this opener and look a better prospect than the team that surrendered meekly at the 2014 World Cup, with West Ham’s Enner Valencia looking to build on an impressive 11 goals in 19 matches for Ecuador.
Antonio Valencia is a big miss as the Manchester United man is injured, although this is a team littered with experienced players including Walter Ayovi, Juan Carlos Paredes and Frickson Erazo in defence.
Ecuador can certainly play their part in this match and will aim to expose Chile’s vibrant attacking style by counter-punching when the opportunity arises. We’re expecting goals in this game and will tip accordingly, although an even better bet could be Chile to win and both teams to find the net.