Group B at the 2014 World Cup is one to watch closely, as it affords the Netherlands (a.k.a Clockwork Orange) to avenge the loss at the 2010 World Cup final against Spain, which took the title for the first time in their history in South Africa. The group also includes Chile and Australia.
The defending champions are a force to reckon with, following one of the best La Liga seasons in recent memory and the good performance of those playing in other European countries.
Spanish manager Vicente del Bosque announced he will include Diego Costa in Spain’s 23-man squad. This is considered a gamble since the Atletico Madrid striker is suffering from a hamstring tear and is not 100 percent healthy after a brutal end to the Spanish season and the battle against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final, where “Los Rojiblancos” ran out of gas.
Speaking with Spanish radio station Cadena SER Del Bosque said:
“We don’t know any more about Diego Costa than what was in the medical report. He has a muscular injury and we’re monitoring his recovery; we will wait until the last minute before making our decision.”
“The other day I said that I would like all the players to be in good condition by 2 June, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot make an exception.”
“We’re not doing this on a whim, we have until the second to give the list of 23 and we don’t have to rush things. I hope he makes it, but we have good alternatives.”
Del Bosque added that all of the choices to select the team for the 2014 World Cup are difficult, but the coaching team tries to do what’s best for the country.
The Netherlands wants revenge from the 1-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Spanish team in the 2010 World Cup final. Louis Van Gaal named his squad with that goal in mind.
Lead by Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie, the Dutch team qualified with no problems to the 2014 World Cup and are heavy favorites to move forward to the round of 16.
Chile ended up in third place in the South American Zone during the qualifiers and was able to draw 2-2 against the Spain, whom they will face again in Group B at the 2014 World Cup. The Spanish speaking match is one of the most anticipated ones in Group B and will afford the Chileans the chance of beating Spain for the first time in international competition and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Australia makes their third consecutive World Cup appearance in 2014. The team reportedly had a difficult time during qualifiers with new coach Ange Postecoglou. They will face Spain for the first time in their history.
Prediction: Spain and the Netherlands move on.