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World Cup Preview: Group B Breakdown

by Photo of Matthew Golda

Netherlands and Chile have already advanced to the round of sixteen; play for top spot in group

World Cup Preview: Group B Breakdown

Group Standings

1) Netherlands: 6 points, +5 goal differential, 2-0-0

2) Chile: 6 points, +4 goal differential, 2-0-0

3) Australia: 0 points, - 3 goal differential, 0-0-2

4) Spain: 0 points, - 6 goal differential, 0-0-2 

Final Matches

Chile vs Netherlands, 12 PM ET, Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Spain vs Australia, 12 PM ET, Arena Da Baixada, Curitiba, Brazil

What's At Stake

Chile and the Netherlands are already through, so the pressure of needing points in a final game is off for them. However, their match is still important. The team who finishes second in this group most likely plays Brazil in the next round, instead of Croatia or Mexico. That is a scenario both teams would like to avoid. The Dutch came out like gangbusters against the Spanish and looked like they were out for blood. Although they had a letdown match against the Aussies, which could only be expected after the emotional and thrilling victory they had against Spain, I expect them to return to the dangerous form we saw from them in that first game. 

Chile is coming off a game where they eliminated the defending champions and have looked dangerous in both matches in this World Cup, thanks in large part to their youth. Players like Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez have played fantastic for this Chilean team and have been a joy to watch. The same can be said for the "Flying Dutchman" Robin van Persie - who will actually miss the match against Chile due to yellow card accumulation - and his lightning rod of a partner with the golden left foot Arjen Robben. This game could turn into a track meet and if it does, who is complaining? Definitely not me.

The atmosphere for the game should be something too. The fans of Chile have been incredible for them, maybe a little too enthusiastic, as they actually had some fans without tickets break into the stadium for the game against Spain, only to be deported shortly after. 

The Spain/Australia match could prove to be just as entertaining, but the game is meaningless, unfortunately. Both of these teams are already eliminated, which, considering Spain is one of those teams, is fairly shocking. I do not know what to expect from this match. Australia has played well their first two matches and I expect them to do the same against Spain and play with heart and determination, but they aren't the most skilled of squads. Spain is the unpredictable team here, surprisingly. They haven't played terribly, but they have been far from the Spain team we are accustomed to seeing. Perhaps this team, which had so many expectations coming into the World Cup, simply folds. However it turns out, it will have no impact on who advances from the group.

Who Will Advance?

Chile and Netherlands. 

Both are already through, so nothing bold here. As for who tops the group, I like Chile to win Group B with a win against the Netherlands. Both teams have been impressive, but the Chileans have a semi-home field advantage, which has proven to be effective thus far.

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