World Cup Group B Predictions



Along with Brazil and perhaps the Argentinians, the defending World Cup champions from Spain return yet another loaded squad in 2014. Though their style of play and tactics are often criticized, their possession-oriented game gets results and that should hold true in 2014. While their opening group is significantly tougher than their run in 2010, some challenges from the get-go may work in favour of the Spaniards. There will be rocky moments for Spain’s ageing core, and they won’t be as dominant as they were in 2010, but their poise and talent in pressure situations should have them topping the table in Group B.



Forever underachievers on the world stage, their 2010 run to the finals was a pleasant surprise. However for a team this talented, it really must be done more consistently. The Oranje turned a lot of heads back in South Africa, taking a loaded Spanish team deep into extra time. This time around, they’ll be hoping to get their hands on the trophy, but a tougher road and injuries have struck in the lead-up to their opening fixture. The loss of Roma star Kevin Strootman has left a big hole up front, and an out-of-form Robin van Persie may be asked to do too much as a result. Despite a dominant qualifying run, an earlier exit than expected may be in the cards. Add in the fact that Chile remains a viable threat, and 2014 could be an underwhelming World Cup for the Dutch.



After years of hype and promise, the Chileans have finally arrived onto the world stage. And although it’s definitely not the easiest group – paired with the 2010 winners and finalists, Chile has the talent to cause a major stir to the 2014 tournament. Like many smaller nations however, they have some elite talent, but the depth falls off dramatically. Led by Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean midfield will be strong, and they have the attacking prowess to put fear into their opponents. Whether or not they can consistently keep the ball out of their own net remains the key question. Chile had two very encouraging pre-tournament games – winning at England, and only losing one-nil to Germany. They’ll be buoyed by familiar conditions and great fan support and enter as a real threat to the Dutch advancing in Group B.



This year seems to be somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Aussies, and one in which they seem a virtual certainty to finish last in the group. Going against three high-powered attacks won’t be easy and expect them to struggle mightily with the task, especially considering the youth they’ve injected into their line-up. Gone are players from older generations, and in comes the new blood. While they’re hardly household names, they represent the future for Australian soccer, and will gain valuable experience playing against the best in the world on soccer’s grandest stage. As far as success goes though, it will be a struggle for the Socceroos. Trying to ensure they don’t end up goalless should be a greater priority than trying to defeat the likes of Spain and the Netherlands.


Predicted Order of Finish

1) Spain
2) Netherlands
3) Chile
4) Australia


Spain’s experience, talent, and poise will vault them into the top spot, while the Dutch and Chileans will endure a tough battle for the second spot. Australia will be an afterthought and they’ll struggle to keep balls out of the back of their net.


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