Chile want to show once again against Holland tonight that they have the potential to go far in this World Cup.
The South Americans dispatched Australia 3-1 and beat defending champions Spain 2-0 in their opening two Group B games and now want to clinch top spot with a victory over the Dutch.
“If we play the way we did against Spain then I believe we can reach the final of the World Cup,” Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal said to El Grafico Chile. “It’s going to be a final against Holland.
“Holland is a very fast team but we will try to take advantage of the spaces that they leave us.
“I believe this is the best generation in the history of Chilean football and when we are together we are a very strong team.
“We face a very important rival but we believe in ourselves.”
Should Chile not win against the Oranje in Sao Paulo, they will finish second and in all likelihood face tournament hosts Brazil in the last 16.
“Whoever has to face Brazil in the next round will face a challenging task because they are considered favourites to win the World Cup in their own country,” Vidal said. “We are very hungry to succeed and if we want to be champions we need to be prepared to face anyone.”
The Dutch need at least a point to finish first.
The Oranje thrashed defending champions Spain 5-1 in their group opener but struggled against Australia before clinching a 3-2 triumph.
“Our main aim in a tournament like this one is to progress from the group stages,” Holland coach Louis van Gaal said. “Now we want to finish first and that is going to be especially hard against Chile.
“I knew beforehand that they would be our most difficult rival because they are impressive.”
Van Gaal is not surprised by Chile’s strong start to the tournament.
“Chile are incredibly intense and very organised,” he said. “They have a fantastic coach (Jorge Sampaoli) who has convinced his players of the way to face games.
“It’s beautiful to see them play.
“I predict a game with a lot of goalscoring chances, just as, like Spain, Chile is a team extremely anxious to attack.
“I expect a very balanced game.”
In the other group game, Spain and Australia meet in Curitiba with both sides determined to end the tournament with one win.
The Spaniards will make wholesale changes to the team that fell to Chile with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina chosen to start in place of captain Iker Casillas.
Reina is confident Spain can finally deliver a good performance in Brazil.
“In football, we all want to win,” Reina said to El Mundo newspaper. “We don’t want to go home without winning a game.
“We know Australia will be motivated.
“We will try to be better than them, without losing our style.”
Australia will be without their leading forward Tim Cahill through suspension but are ready to take on Vicente del Bosque’s men.
“It’s an enormous challenge to try and beat the world champions who have lost two games in a row,” Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said. “As I have said to my players, we have been to four world cups and only won two games.
“It’s not easy to win games at this level so if we have an opportunity to win one let’s take it.”