Radamel Falcao returns to the Colombian international setup after a long hiatus, while Chile will be without Arsenal’s attacking spearhead Alexis Sanchez.


Chile have been rocked by the unavailability of Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez, with the former Barcelona man expected to be out for around several weeks with a calf injury. The Chileans will be without the attacker not only for the fixture against Colombia, but most likely also for the clash against Uruguay.

His absence is likely to shift the weight of the responsibility onto the shoulders of Bayern Munich star Arturo Vidal, who will be expected to pick up the gauntlet in Sanchez’s absence. Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi may opt for either veteran Esteban Paredes or talented young striker Nicolas Castillo up front, depending on what he deems appropriate for this particular game.

Elsewhere, there is massive news for Colombia as they welcome the return of Radamel Falcao for the first time in over a year owing to the former Manchester United and Chelsea striker’s upturn in form.

Back among the goals and back in the international setup. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Back among the goals and back in the international setup. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

The Colombians do not have any injury worries and Pekerman is likely to name an almost unchanged lineup barring, perhaps, the inclusion of Falcao up front.

Colombia’s squad boasts talent such as James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca and David Ospina among others, and with the inclusion of Falcao, the nation is likely to be the favourites as they go head-to-head against Chile, who have stolen a march on them and the other CONMEBOL nations in recent times.

The two teams are very close to each other on the qualification table, with Colombia currently on 17 points and occupying the fourth and final automatic qualification spot, a point and place above Chile. Pekerman would be hoping to take advantage of Sanchez’s absence and steer clear of their nearest competitors for fourth place on the 2018 FIFA CONMEBOL World Cup qualification table.

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