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World Cup 2014 Group B Preview

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World Cup draw Group B

World Cup 2014

Group B

Spain-

Although by many Tiki-taka is seen as a dead art, Spain are seemingly evolving into a different kind of side who have won the past three major trophies. With striker Diego Costa giving Spain a much more physical presence to look to when they are struggling to pass their way through disciplined defences.

Influential Player

Diego Costa:

The Athletico Madrid Striker brings to this Spain squad power, attitude and aggression. If Costa can match his performances that made him the subject of a £32 Million transfer to Chelsea Spain can once again challenge for this World Cup.

How to beat them?

With the Gerard Pique out of form and Sergio Ramos not always consistent, the centre-back pairing is a potential weak spot for the reigning champions, although all be it rarely exposed due to Spain’s high percentage of possession throughout matches.

Group Stage Prediction: 1st

Australia

Australia’s coach Ange Postecoglou will have only been in charge for three friendly matches by the time their World Cup campaign kicks off, so it is unluckily they will mount any serious competition in the tournament or in fact their own group. However, with brilliant players like Tom Rogic and Tim Cahill, Australia could possibly surprise a few people.

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Main Player

Tim Cahill:

The New York Red Bulls midfielder is a vital experienced head in a reasonably young Australian squad. He was recently named Australia’s top ever scorer with thirty-one goals to his name. If he plays well, he can possibly bring out the best in Celtic playmaker Tom Rogic.

How to beat them?

Australia’s defence will be vulnerable against counter attacking teams, and lack pace in the fullback positions, playing right into the hands of players like Arjen Robben.

Group Stage Prediction: 4th

Holland

Despite greatly impressing in qualifications there are massive uncertainties about Van Gaal’s best eleven. Even though Van Gaal has been praised for being able to nurture young talent well in the international game, his current team seem to lack tactical awareness in defensive areas. Although, with world beaters like Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie, Holland are always able to oppose a threat particularly in the final third.

Influential player

Arjen Robben:

The only Holland player to play consistently well at club level this year. Robben has scored many important goals throughout the season for Bayern Munich. An on form Robben can see Holland progress further into the tournament.

How to beat them?

For a while now Holland have been vulnerable at the back and this year see’s know change. Unlike Brazil who have world-class players all across the pitch, Holland just don’t seem to produce the goods at the back.

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Predicted Group Stage finish:  3rd

Chile

Chile are a physically imposing side who will relish having Spain and Holland in their group. Pressing high up the pitch and the players to out muscle Spain’s mini magicians could perhaps see Chile pull of a shock win against the favourites to go through Group B.
Influential Player

Arturo Vidal:

Juventes’s Vidal can play in a number of positions and to very good effect as well. Equally as comfortable gliding past a defender, as winning a defensive header. If he can keep his temper Chile may benefit from his all round game awareness and experience.

How to beat them?

Chile have an extremely poor disciplinary record averaging twenty-three fouls per match. This can cause teams with a good set-piece putting Chile under a lot of pressure.

Predicted group stage finish: 2nd

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