Here is a look at what Group B will look like in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Player To Watch: Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Cesc Fåbregas, Sergio Ramos
Spain will enter preliminary play as the favorite to come out of Group B. And being the defending champs from the 2010 tournament, they could very easily make a run that has them winning back-to-back World Cup titles. In order to join Italy and Brazil as the only teams to ever win consecutive World Cups, we’ll expect to see Spain stick to their typical long-ball play where they dazzle teams with passing across the field, and then shooting up for scores when the other team lets their guard down. This team is so incredibly stacked with players like Iniesta, Hernandez, Villa, Fåbregas, Ramos, Fernando Torres, Gerard Piqué, Victor Valdés and so many others. Anything less than seeing Spain playing in the final four would be a complete shock. And don’t be to surprised if this team can repeat after their 2010 World Cup win.
Player To Watch: Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong
Many people will argue that the team from Holland is the best in the world to never win a World Cup. This year, in order to try and turn those tides, they’ll be stuck in the same grouping as a Spain team that knocked them out of the tournament in 2010. This team is full of young talent that will hope to dazzle and put points up in a hurry against their competition. Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and former AC Milan star Wesley Sneijder, will be paired with a ton of new youth like Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Nigel de Jong, Gregory van der Wiel and Dirk Kuyt. With a plus-29 goal differential, it should be an exciting matchup when Spain and the Netherlands go at it in group play.
Players To Watch: Alexis Sånchez
Chile may not have the same star-studded lineup as some of the other teams in this grouping, but with Barcelona star Alex Sånchez on their team, they are a favorable long shot. Sånchez gets the privilege of playing on the same team as one of the best playes in the world in Lionel Messi and the rest of the team will surely benefit from his success. Unfortunately for the team, Chile has seen departures in each of the last two World Cups with exits in the Round of 16. You have to like Chile as a dark horse that could surprise some people and they could be a team worth going with for a potential upset to make it out of this group. However, they’ll need a big win over Spain or Holland to do that.
Player To Watch: Tim Cahill
The long shots in Group B is the Australian team that sits at 750/1 odds to win the whole tournament. This is only the fourth appearance in the World Cup by the Aussies, though it is their third in a row and that could be a sign of the maturity and growth of this nations soccer team. However, they went 3-4-1 in qualifying and were certainly one of the less impressive teams to earn their spot. If you get an itch that Australia is going to go on an improbable run, their 750/1 odds offer a great chance at a return. However, this team is just offers too little talent and seeing them advance from group play would be nothing less than a miracle.