FIFA World Cup Soccer 2014 Group B Pick and Preview
Friday 13/06/2014 20:00(GMT)
TV: BBC; UTV:Fox Sports:ESPN; RTE
Star Man: Diego Costa
Manager: Vincent Del Bosque
Spain are the defending champions and come into this tournament in good form with a thriving Spanish league that is currently dominating European soccer with both the Champions League and Europa League Final being all spanish affairs. Vincent Del Bosque has a plethora of superstars with Barcelona and Real Madrid stars Alonso, Ramos, Xavi, Iniesta, Casillas forming the spine of the team. Spains strength in depth is second to none and they have one of the strongest squads maybe ever assembled but the question I have to ask is will there be motivation and desire in this squad. Spain have now won three tournaments in a row the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup. There is alot of miles on the clock for this squad and will this tournament be just one too far? For me I am thinking that it just might be and although I loathe to bet against this exceptional side I am predicting a Group Exit for the reigning Champions.
Prediction for Group: Group Exit
Star Man: Robin Van Persie
Manager: Louis Van Gaal
This may not be the most talented Dutch squad that has traveled to a World Cup and in fact may not be as talented as the side that got knocked out of the European Championships in the Group Stage but what this team has is a terrific work ethic. New Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal will bow out after this tournament and having worked hard on this squad over the last four years he will look to leave on a high note. The keyman for the Dutch will be Manchester United front man Robin Van Persie and if Van Persie can fire the goals then the Netherlands could go along way in this competition. One thing is for certain the Dutch must be ready from the off as they face the Spanish in the first game, but whats that they say about revenge? Its a dish best served cold, and the Dutch will be looking to serve up some revenge to their Spanish counterparts who broke the oranje hearts in 2010. I am backing the Dutch to get some revenge here.
Prediction: Group Winners
Star Man: Artura Vidal
Manager: Jorge Luis Sampaoli
Chile are going to surprise alot of people who do not watch South American football. This is a very strong Chile squad with Alexi Sanchez the Barcelona forward leading the line and Arturo Vidal the Juventus playmaker in the midfield. When you add that to a no nonsense defence and hard working midfield you can see where this side will cause some problems for teams. The counter attacking game that Chile played against England in their recent friendly victory highlights the pace at which they can counter and will suit the underdogs when they face possession strangling Spain. I think the Chileans can cause one of the shocks of the early rounds by qualifying from the Group, but it will probably be as Runners up.
Prediction: Runner up in Group B
Star Man: Tim Cahill
Manager: A Postecoglou
Unfortunately for Australia they are just completely outclassed in this group. The Australians still rely heavily on former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill who is now playing his trade in America with the New York Red Bulls. While I dont think the Australians will be embarressed I do think they will struggle to get anything from these three games and my best current prediction is that they lose all three there will be no shame in that though as this is a really tough group
Prediction: Group Exit