World Cup 2014: Group B predictions

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It was with high anticipation that the world watched to see who their country would face in the World Cup group stages next year.

Fans the world over were working out potential group of death and analysing which opponents would prove less of a challenge.

Group B proved to be one of the more interesting groups in the competition with a replay of the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands the hotly anticipated clash.

Joining the European powerhouses are Chile and Australia - two teams that will hope to cause major upsets and reach the last 16.

It is as much about winning the group as it is about avoiding Brazil in the next round as the runner-up will meet the Selecao, should they win their group as expected.

In the following, the teams will be analysed and the potential positions of the respective nations will be predicted.


Australia were unlucky to be drawn with three teams with far superior players and playing styles. Even though Australia have become somewhat of a household name at the World Cup over the last few years, it is incredibly unlikely that they will qualify from Group B ahead of Spain, the Netherlands or Chile.

After coming first in the preliminary qualifying group consisting of Oman, Saudi Arabia and Thailand with five wins and a loss, it became serious.

All the successful teams go into the grand qualifying group where two teams go through and the third placed team goes into an inter-continental play-off.

The only major competition for the Socceroos was a very good Japanese side. As expected they came second.

Australia lack quality players and will therefore come fourth in the group with any points gained being an achievement.

Prediction: 4th


Chile find themselves in an unlucky situation. They are good enough to qualify and just needed a slightly easier group to be confident of qualification. Unfortunately, they were drawn with the finalists of the last World Cup in South Africa.

The South American qualifying group is not easy with teams like Argentina and Uruguay posing huge threats. Thankfully, it was made slightly easier by the fact that Brazil did not have to participate due to being the host nation. Nevertheless, it would prove a tough amount of games against mean opposition - none of whom let themselves be walked over.

Chile's strength is in attack and they use Sanchez as a target when counter attacking at lightning speed.

Unfortunately, this leaves them susceptible to conceding goals and this may prove their downfall in Brazil. They averaged almost two goals a game for the entire qualifying campaign which stretches over 16 games, however, in those 16 games 25 goals were conceded proving that they have a leaky back four.

Chile cannot be considered push-overs with players such as Vidal, who is one of the best and most consistent midfielders in the world.

They have also recently shown that they can compete with other top footballing countries as they beat England 2-0 in Wembley and gave Brazil a run for their money in a narrow 2-1 defeat.

Their lack of general quality throughout the squad and their poor defence will let them down and mean they narrowly miss out on the last 16.

Prediction: 3rd


The Dutch fans will be hoping that their team can go one better than their second place finish in South Africa in 2010 when their heart were broken by Andres Iniesta in the 115th minute of the final.

With players such as Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie experiencing the best times of their careers, what is to say that "Holland" cannot go all the way this time?

Louis van Gaal's team had an easy time of it in qualifying with their main competition including Romania and Hungary.

Nevertheless, they managed to qualify in first place with 28 points from ten games - a 2-2 draw with Estonia the only thing coming between them and a 100% record. Their goal difference makes astonishing reading too with 34 goals scored and only five conceded.

Van Persie is evidently their star man with eleven goals and a fear factor few can match. He is athletic, has great technique and as captain of the Netherlands will hope to inspire his team mates to first place in the group. Much will come down to how they perform in the first match against world and European champions Spain and with Spain traditionally slow starters there might be a chance to become early pace setters.

Unfortunately, this Netherlands team lacks the general quality and motivation that the team from 2010 had and for this reason they will make it to the last 16 and no further after piping a good Chile side to second place.

Prediction: 2nd


The holders will fancy their chances of keeping their beloved trophy and gaining a second star on their crest with a successful campaign in Brazil. Vital to this dream becoming a reality is that they top Group B, leading to the likelihood of a game against Mexico or Croatia instead of hosts Brazil.

Their first game will go a long way towards how well they will do in the competition as a whole. They will be expected to beat Australia but the games against the Netherlands and Chile will not be easy.

Many people are assuming that, due to their prior footballing dominance, they will have an easy ride but the team has more obvious weaknesses than it did in previous tournaments.

The problem position that persists is up front with Torres not who he used to be and Villa struggling with injuries, Del Bosque will be looking to players such as Soldado and Negredo for inspiration.

Soldado has proved his limitations in his short time at Tottenham and Negredo, whilst in stunning form, does not fit the blue print of the Spanish tika-taka and may be used as an impact sub instead. Fabregas was preferred in this role in recent times and may be utilised as a 'false nine' again, however, there are arguments against this as, in qualifying, Spain had difficulties turning their major possession into goals.

Only three of the eight games in qualifying were won by more than a single goal.

However, with quality such as Iniesta and Xavi in the side it is difficult not seeing them top of the group after the three games and the bigger challenges will present themselves when they face teams like Germany or Brazil who will use counter attacks to thwart the Spanish pass-masters.

Prediction: 1st

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