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World Cup Preview: Spain vs Chile

by Photo of Matthew Golda

Spain looks to rebound after an abysmal outing against the Dutch.

World Cup Preview: Spain vs Chile

Last Match

• Spain lost 5-1 vs Netherlands

• Chile won 3-1 vs Australia

In what was the most shocking result of the World Cup thus far, Spain was run off the pitch by a Dutch team that was out for blood after losing in the World Cup final to the Spanish in 2010. The first half saw fairly even play, but this ridiculous Robin van Persie goal right before the half - and frontrunner for goal of the World Cup - changed the momentum and the Dutch came out flying in the second half. They just sent wave after wave of attack against a stunned Spanish squad that now has to pick themselves up after the debacle. Chile, on the other hand, handled Australia. The Aussies played tough and surprisingly had chances to even it up at two apiece in the second half, but the Chileans eventually proved too much to handle.

Here are all the goals from the Spain/Netherlands match:

What an incredible display of football by the Dutch. If they play like that every game, they will be very tough to beat. But this is about Spain and Chile, who are seemingly playing for second in Group B (and unfortunately, second in the group will most likely draw Brazil). Let's take a closer look:

Key Players

Iker Casillas, Spain

It's not often that a goalkeeper is a key player, but Casillas played so poorly and backup David De Gea has been ruled out of the group stage for Spain with an injury. That most likely leaves the goalkeeping duties on the struggling Casillas for the next two matches. Spain needs him to rebound in a big way against a potent Chilean squad. Manager Vincente del Bosque has publicly backed the goalkeeper, which has to feel reassuring for Casillas, but he's going to need to come out and play like the champion he is.

Alexis Sanchez, Chile

Sanchez was all over the pitch against Australia, as he scored the first goal and assisted on the second. Sanchez plays on Bareclona and this Spanish team has quite a few players that play for that team, along with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. So, what I'm saying is: he's familiar with these guys. If Chile is going to win this match, expect Sanchez to have another big day.

Best Kits

Spain Kits:

Chile Kits:

For the keen eyes out there, Spain actually wore white kits last match, which I suppose are their third kits. But dealing with what we've got, I have to go with the Chilean kits. Spain's kits aren't terrible, but Chile has a red, white, and blue combination that reminds me of America. No, they don't use the colors like America would and there are no stripes, but so what?

Advantage: Chile

When and Where?

3 PM ET, Estadio Do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Match Prediction

1-1 draw. I expect this game to be fairly cautious. Spain knows they are playing for second and if they lose and the Dutch manage a point against the Aussies - which, let's face it, they will - then the defending champs are actually eliminated from the tournament, which would be a huge shock. For Chile, they don't want to blow their lead in points over Spain and would most likely be satisfied with a draw.

Both of these teams have versatile attacks, but they also have solid midfield play. Spain needs a much better performance than the one they gave against the Dutch last match and I fully expect them to rebound. Diego Costa, who was born in Brazil, but chose to play for Spain (much to the ire of Brazilians), was a disappointment, despite drawing the penalty in the first half that lead to Spain's lone goal. He needs to be more decisive. Also, watch out for Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal. If he is fit enough to play, he could be the game changer Chile needs to make it over the hump and out of the group stage.

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