Group B World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014 Group B

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GROUP B

Spain Netherlands Chile Australia

[Team Jersey Images © Soccerphile]

Spain

The only way for Spain maybe down in the opinion of many but the World Cup holders and top-ranked team will not give up their title without a fight. Spain have a very, solid defence and conceded only two goals in topping Group I in qualification ahead of France. While Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Xabi Alonso can control the midfield, Pique, Ramos and Juanfran keep everything tight at the back. If Diego Costa can overcome his injury problems, Spain will surely go far. And we haven't even mentioned David Silva, Juan Mata, Sergio Busquets, Jesus Navas, Koke et al or three very good goalkeepers in Casillas, de Gea and Reina.

Fixtures

Spain team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Spain team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Spain Kit 1
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Spain Kit 2
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Spain v Netherlands 13 June; Salvador
Spain v Chile 18 June; Rio de Janeiro
Spain v Australia 23 June; Curitiba

Coach

Vincente del Bosque

Record

1962, 1966, 1978, 1998 First Round; 1982, 1990, 2006 Second Round; 1934, 1986, 1994, 2002 Quarter Finals; 1950 Fourth Place; 2010 Winners

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

If Iniesta has a good tournament so will La Roja. Much will also depend on how Diego Costa gels with his new teammates.

Predictions & Latest Odds

We are backing Spain to make the final.
World Cup 2014 Betting

How they qualified

Spain qualified as winners of Group I.

On the sidelines

Cesar Azpilicueta is known as "Dave" by his Chelsea teammates.

Analysis

Spain Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)

Strikers: David Silva (Manchester City), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Villa (Atletico Madrid)


Netherlands

The Netherlands are rebuilding under Louis van Gaal but sill rely on golden oldies Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart. Roma's Kevin Strootman will be a big miss in the midfield and the goal keeping situation is far from clear with no truly outstanding or experienced candidate to choose from. The defence also looks quite inexperienced with no real leader at the back in the Jaap Stam or Ronald Koeman role. We think it's a toss up between the Oranje and Chile who joins Spain in the second round.

Fixtures

Netherlands team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Netherlands team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Netherlands Kit 1
Copyright © Soccerphile

Netherlands Kit 2
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Netherlands v Spain 13 June; Salvador
Netherlands v Australia 18 June; Porte Alegre
Netherlands v Chile 23 June; Sao Paulo

Coach

Louis van Gaal

Record

1934, 1938 First Round; 1990, 2006 Second Round, 1994 Quarter-finals; 1998 Semi-finals; 1974, 1978, 2010 Runners-up

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been in good form for Schalke when he has been injury free.

Predictions & Latest Odds

We predict Netherlands will come second in Group A but their match with Chile seems key. Then they would have another match up with Brazil, who they beat in the quarterfinals in South Africa 2010.

How they qualified

The Netherlands won Qualifying Group D undefeated ahead of Romania, Hungary and Turkey, scoring 34 goals in the process.

On the sidelines

Manchester United's Robin van Persie's son, Shaqueel, trains with Manchester City.

Analysis

Netherlands Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle), Michel Vorm (Swansea)

Defenders: Daley Blind, Joel Veltman (both Ajax), Stefan de Vrij, Daryl Janmaat, Terence Kongolo, Bruno Martins Indi, (all Feyenoord), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Leroy Fer (Norwich), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven)

Strikers: Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United)


Chile

Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli has forged a high-tempo, attacking side which keeps good possession, though the team lack an out-and-out striker. Players such as Arturo Vidal at Juve and Alexis Sanchez at Barcelona can be considered truly world class. Chile host the 2015 Copa America and are hoping to make progress in Brazil for a crack at becoming the best team in South America on their own turf.

Fixtures

Chile team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile.Chile team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Chile Kit 1
Copyright © Soccerphile

Chile Kit 2
Copyright © Soccerphile

Chile v Australia 13 June; Cuaiba
Chile v Spain 18 June; Rio de Janeiro
Chile v Netherlands; 23 June; Sao Paulo

Coach

Jorge Sampaoli

Record

1930, 1950, 1966, 1974, 1982 First Round; 1998, 2010 Second Round; 1962 Semi-Final

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Juventus duo of Arturo Vidal and attacking right back Mauricio Isla.

How they qualified

Chile placed 3rd in South American qualifying.

On the sidelines

Chile faced Spain in Group H in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, losing 2-1 in Pretoria.

Analysis

Chile Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica)

Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus)

Midfielders: Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutierrez (Twente), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo)

Strikers: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo) Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabian Orellana (Celta)

Australia

Australia face an uphill struggle in Group B against three high quality teams and are building for the future and the Asian Cup on home soil in 2015. Expectations are low but Australia have nothing to lose and may just shock one of their opponents. Fans are looking for good performances from the team rather than expectations they will come through the group as that would be a miracle.

Fixtures

Australia team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Australia team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Australia Kit 1
Copyright © Soccerphile

Australia Kit 2
Copyright © Soccerphile

Australia v Chile v 13 June; Cuaiba
Australia v Netherlands 18 June; Porte Alegre
Australia v Brazil 23 June; Brasilia

Coach

Ange Postecoglou

Record

1974, 2010 First Round. 2006 Round of 16

FIFA Ranking

Men to watch

Tommy Oar, who plays his club football in Holland with Utrecht.

How they qualified

Came through Asian qualifying, though after a few bumps along the road.

On the sidelines

Ange Postecoglou has won two A-League titles with Brisbane Roar

Analysis

Australia Team Profile

Squad

Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Club Brugge), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)

Defenders: IIvan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Jason Davidson (Heracles), Bailey Wright (Preston North End)

Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), James Troisi (Atalanta), James Holland (Austria Wien), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Dario Vidosic (FC Sion), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)

Strikers: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)