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Why is Chile facing an early WC elimination...

Stats that condemn Chile's chances of bouncing back in the WC Qualifiers

October 10, 2016 By Oscar Rojas
La Roja is currently ranked seventh in CONMEBOL's WC Qualifiers after nine games. Here's why they have to fight against history to make it to Russia.

The back-to-back Copa América champions are facing elimination from the World Cup after nine matchdays, and their chances of success are not good. Chile's sloppy form in the South American qualifiers could have them watching the tournament to be played in Russia on TV, since only three teams have managed to bounce back in CONMEBOL's qualifiers under the current format.

Since 1998, when CONMEBOL adopted the "Round Robin" format to determine which teams represent South America in the World Cup, only Chile (1998), Ecuador(2002) and Uruguay(2006) have managed to climb back in the standings to reach a WC Qualifying spot. When it came to the 2010 and the 2014 Qualifiers, the teams that ended the first half of the competition ranked among the top five held on to their spots. If that were the case today, Alexis Sánchez & Co. would have to watch the tournament on their TV sets.

Furthermore, Chile is five points behind Argentina, who holds CONMEBOL's play-off spot after nine games, which makes things even more complicated for La Roja.

If you consider their upcoming games against opponents above them in the standings, Chile will be forced to play against Argentina, Brazil and Colombia away from home, while hosting Uruguay, Ecuador and Paraguay. The clash against Brazil could be a do-or-die event, as it will be held during Matchday 18 of the CONMEBOL Qualifiers, exactly on October 10, 2017.

Chile's next match against Perú will be crucial for their chances, considering that Los Incas are currently eighth in the CONMEBOL Qualifiers.  If Perú walks away with three points, La Roja would need a miracle to make it to the 2018 World Cup.

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