MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi will renew old acquaintances when his reigning two-times Copa America champions take on Portugal in what he expects to be a tough Confederations Cup semi-final today.
Pizzi, who played under Portuguese coach Fernando Santos for FC Porto in 2000, will have a full 23-man squad to choose from for the clash in Kazan.
European champions Portugal’s roster, meanwhile, has been depleted by injuries and bookings.
“We know it’s going to be a difficult match,” Pizzi told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday in Kazan. “And I’m sure it’s going to be difficult …for Portugal as well.”
“It a privilege and reason for satisfaction to have all of (the players)… tomorrow at our disposal. Let’s hope they are able to play at the same level tomorrow as we’ve seen until now.”
The Portuguese manager said a game-day decision would be made regarding midfielder Bernardo Silva, who sustained an ankle injury in his squad’s last group stage match, a 4-0 win against New Zealand.
Central defender Pepe would be sidelined after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament.
“Chile has very good quality players, very dynamic, very strong team spirit,” Santos told reporters yesterday. “We are going to try to be better tomorrow.”
Portugal topped Group A with seven points from three games while Chile finished second in Group B with five. Germany will face Mexico in the second semi-final tomorrow in Sochi.