Argentina v Chile - Teams and Prediction
WORLD CUP, ROUND FOUR: Nantes hosts an historic match on Saturday, regardless of the result, as it will be the first-ever meeting of two sides from South America at a World Cup.
The match may be an historic first, but the rivalry is nothing new. Chile and Argentina have faced one another across the halfway line of a rugby pitch 36 times in Tests over 87 years – as well as in numerous uncapped matches.
Los Pumas’ head coach Michael Cheika has made 11 changes to his starting XV from the team that beat Samoa 19-10 in their last match, with Marcos Kremer, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Eduardo Bello and Juan Martin González the only four players retaining their places in the run-on team.
Nicolás Sánchez, meanwhile, will earn his 100th cap, becoming only the second Argentine to play a century of Tests – after hooker Agustín Creevy.
Argentina will be targeting a full house of points in the match so that they can draw level with Japan in Pool D. Japan are sitting with nine points in the standings after their win over Samoa on Thursday.
“We are going to face a very tough game. Chile are very clear about how they want to play. They are very frontal. They like to play one-on-one with space,” said Argentina’s captain for the match, Jerónimo de la Fuente.
“Facing a team that knows exactly what it wants to do makes it dangerous, but we focus a lot on ourselves. We respect and analyse all rivals.
“Because of how we are working, of the mental preparation, I don’t think we will go into the match asleep.
“For us, this is a final and I know it is for Chile too.
“I have 100 percent confidence that Nico [Sánchez] and Cubo [Cubelli] will manage the game well and that will lead us to play the rugby we want to play.”
Argentina are by a long chalk South America’s No.1 rugby side but Chile loose forward Raimundo Martinez hopes his outfit can catch up with the No.2 outfit Uruguay “in the next four years”.
Chile round off their maiden appearance at the World Cup on Saturday. They have played well in patches but few expect them to secure their first point of the tournament against an albeit thus far sub-par Pumas outfit.
Martinez, though, is aiming for Uruguay come qualifying for the 2027 World Cup even though he concedes Los Teros have a considerable head start on them.
“The next World Cup will be more difficult because United States [also in the qualifiers] will be more prepared,” the 23-year-old said.
“We will have to work hard to qualify.
“The road is going to be very difficult.
“In the next four years I think we should catch up with Uruguay.
“They are eight years ahead of us in their high performance programme.
Martinez says despite three heavy losses – though they held their own for a good part of their opener against Japan – the experience has been invaluable.
“We have learnt from the best teams about the pace and intensity of the play, the quality of the decision making, good habits,” he said.
“When playing against them you think they are going to physically overwhelm you, but the difference is in their good habits.”
“Hopefully we will catch up with them in the next four years,” he added.
@rugby365com: Argentina by 50 points.
Argentina: 15 Martin Bogado, 14 Rodrigo Isgro, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Pedro Rubiolo, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Joel Sclavi.
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Joaquin Oviedo, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Santiago Carreras, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.
Chile: 15 Inaki Ayarza, 14 Santiago Videla, 13 Domingo Saavedra, 12 Matias Garafulic, 11 José Ignacio Larenas, 10 Rodrigo Fernandez, 9 Marcelo Torrealba, 8 Raimundo Martínez, 7 Clemente Saavedra, 6 Martín Sigren (captain), 5 Javier Eissmann, 4 Santiago Pedrero, 3 Matias Dittus, 2 Augusto Bohme, 1 Javier Carrasco.
Replacements: 16 Tomas Dussaillant, 17 Salvador Lues, 18 Esteban Inostroza, 19 Augusto Sarmiento, 20 Alfonso Escobar, 21 Ignacio Silva, 22 Nicolas Herreros, 23 Francisco Urroz.
Date: Saturday, September 30
Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 10.00 ART; 10.00 CLST)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland); Chris Busby (Ireland)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Sources: @WorldRugby & AFP