Published on June 4th, 2014 | by John Lyons0
Chile set for final tune-up against Northern Ireland
Chile seek a morale-boosting victory against Northern Ireland tonight in their final warm-up match before the World Cup in Brazil.
Manager Jorge Sampaoli has made a raft of changes following last Friday´s come-from-behind 3-2 win against Egypt in Santiago.
The idea is that all the 23 players in his squad will have got some minutes under their belt over the two games before la Roja fly to Brazil tomorrow.
Unless there are any last-minute changes, Chile are expected to go with Universidad de Chile goalkeeper Johnny Herrera and a defence of Gary Medel, Francisco Silva and José Rojas.
The midfield will be made up of Mauricio Isla, Marcelo Díaz, Carlos Carmona and Eugenio Mena and there will be a front three of Jorge Valdivia, Esteban Paredes and Fabian Orellana.
Plenty of eyes will be focused on Palmeiras man Valdivia to see what kind of shape he´s in and Colo Colo striker Paredes, who was initially dumped out of the squad and then brought back by Sampaoli.
Chile will be expected to beat a Northern Ireland side who come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat against Uruguay.
Manager Michael O´Neill is expected to make a late decision on whether to play Burnley midfielder Chris Baird, who has had tonsillitis.
Tonight´s match kicks off at 8pm at the Elías Figueroa stadium in Valparaíso and a big crowd will be expected to give la Roja a World Cup send off.
Chile open their World Cup campaign against Australia on Friday, June 13, and also meet Spain and Holland in Group B.