World Cup 2014: GROUP B – PREVIEW

Well one can say that B for this group can be termed as B for best, as we have the defending champions Spain, the Dutch and South American aggressors Chile.

Spain

Spain allowed only 3 goals in qualifiers playing defence by possession – along with their passing and possession skills scored almost 20% of their goals from corner kicks. As winners of the last 2 European Championships, World Champions and have had the World No.1 Ranking for six years now. They will definitely progress into the knock out round – even if they lose a match as they did in 2010 World Cup against the Swiss. They may not be everyone’s favourites this time but watch out just for the sheer talent in the ranks and the fact that they have made success a habit.Vincent Del Bosque will has a nice headache to have. He has a host of talented players to choose from. Much of the defending champion players will make up the core of the team’s starting XI, but players on the fringes are starting to make a major case for a starting berth. Cesar Azpilicueta, Javi Martinez and Isco in particular, are all pushing hard for a spot in the La Roja lineup. Vincent will also have Diego Costa at his disposal after the Brazilian-born forward made an interesting decision to play for the World Champions over the 2014 hosts.

Netherlands

The Dutch are one team which always boasts of lot of talent but a lot of disappointment too! One other characteristics of Dutch football might be missing this time – their Air game. After a disastrous Euro 2012 where they lost all their group matches, this team bounced back in style and scored at least 2 goals in each world cup qualifying game but they are going to use the 5-3-2 combination in Brazil which they didn’t use in the qualifiers. They have the potential to upset Spain and also the potential to miss getting into the knock out round. They sure are the bookies’ nightmare.Louis Van Gaal has ushered out a chunk of the 2010 squad and has stumbled upon an encouraging blend of established squad members and blossoming youngsters. It means that world-class players like Robin Van Persie and ArjenRobben still remain key figures, but they are supported by lesser-known burgeoning talents like Jonathan De Guzman, Bruno Martins-Indi and Jordy Clasie. Probably the most talented nation to never have won a world cup though they have been in three finals.

Chile

The South American team plays a very fast paced game. Few sides entertain with their attacking football as the Chilean team with their amazing skills. Their scoring talent is so good that we can definitely call it a dangerous threat to the favourites in this group; but they conceded 1.5 goals per game in qualifiers and lost every game in which the opposition scored first. if they don’t come up with a counter strategy for the opposition teams intersecting their cross pitch passing, it can prove to be quite a big problem for Chileans. Their coach Sampaoli – a staunch disciple of the principles of Marcelo Bielsabelieves that his team is successful when they play in an aggressive and attacking manner, which means that players like Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas pop up in various attacking positions and cause mayhem in the opposition backlines. Win or lose they are an entertaining bunch to watch.

Australia

Their never die spirit and attitude will add flavour to the World cup but they do not have the team or the experience to beat any of the other teams in this group. They are probably unlucky to be pitted against three of the best teams in the World Cup. It is most unlikely they will even win a game but entertain they will and I am sure this team will only improve. Tim Cahill and Crystal Palace’s Mike Jedinak relish the physical battle and they may be the only positive that this team has got.

Predictions:  Spain and Netherlands go through. Chile is the underdog and can prove to be a tricky customer.

– -Ddharaniikota SSuyodhan [DS is the vice-captain of the team that leads the Football Galaxy at Sportz Cosmos. You can reach him at the gmail id: sportzcosmos]

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