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Chile recall midfielder Valdivia for World Cup qualifiers

IANS logoIANS 15-03-2017

The 33-year-old Al Wahda player was among 19 foreign-based footballers named by national team head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi on Tuesday. Pizzi, who is expected to complete his squad by adding at least four players from local clubs in the coming days, reports Xinhua news agency.

Atlanta United midfielder Carlos Carmona was also handed a recall, more than a year after his last international appearance.

The 2015 and 2016 Copa America champions will be without Marcelo Diaz for the fixtures after the midfielder suffered a knee ligament injury while playing for Spain's Celta Vigo on Sunday.

In addition, Pizzi will be without Bayern Munich playmaker Arturo Vidal for the clash with Argentina due to suspension.

Chile will meet Argentina in Buenos Aires on March 23 before hosting Venezuela in Santiago five days later.

Chile are currently fourth in the CONMEBOL South American zone World Cup qualifying standings.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifying tournament will earn a berth at next year's World Cup in Russia. The fifth-ranked side will book a playoff spot.

Chile squad:

Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Manchester City)

Defenders: Mauricio Isla (Cagliari), Enzo Roco (Cruz Azul), Eugenio Mena (Sport Recife), Paulo Diaz (San Lorenzo), Gary Medel (Inter Milan), Francisco Silva, (Cruz Azul), Erick Pulgar (Bolonia)

Midfielders: Carlos Carmona (Atlanta United), Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen), Felipe Gutierrez (Real Betis), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Pedro Pablo Hernandez (Celta Vigo), Martin Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Jorge Valdivia (Al Wahda)

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Fabian Orellana (Valencia)), Eduardo Vargas (Tigres), Nicolas Castillo (Pumas).

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