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WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP B BETTING PREVIEW
SPAIN lost their first game at the previous World Cup and are usually slow starters. They dominate the time of possession game and that will frustrate opponents. Experience will prove essential for La Roja as most of the Spaniards won the Euros and World Cup. Del Bosque will be hoping Brazil born striker Diego Costa, who has had a remarkable season for Atletico Madrid, will be healthy enough to contribute his firepower and goal scoring. Their attack is good but not the best as their defense: in WC qualifying they had 5 clean sheets in 8 matches. So Spain are strong favourites but with an ageing team and a reputation as slow starters (see their defeat to Switzerland in 2010 and draw with Italy at Euro 2012), they are also an intriguing betting proposition.
NETHERLANDS have a great offense and a solid midfield, but their defense is the issue and they may not be as strong as four years ago when they lost to Spain 1-0, in extra time, in the WC final. Anyway, newly appointed coach Van Gaal recovered some of their best players to their respectful places and among the World Cup teams they hold the longest unbeaten record (17 matches), only losing once since Van Gaal grabbed the reins. The loss of Roma star Kevin Strootman to a knee injury has visibly weakened the Dutch squad and Van Persie comes from a disappointing season.
CHILE are a dark horse that played great at the end of WC qualifying. They were in shambles before former player Jorge Sampaoli took the responsibility but under the new manager the team started playing well and went unbeaten in their last six matches with five wins. Chile’s star men are undoubtedly Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. Their last results were encouraging: 2-2 draws away in Brazil and Spain were topped by a convincing victory over England at Wembley in 2013, and while they lost 1-0 to Germany in March, they won plaudits for the quality of football they displayed in Stuttgart. The considerable humidity and heat levels that are predicted throughout Brazil 2014 are widely predicted to favour the South American nations who do not have to acclimatise to play in these conditions.
AUSTRALIA do not have much world-class talent and their best player in Bayer Leverkusen striker Robbie Kruse is out of the WC with an injury. So they have issues on both offense and defense as shown in friendly matches against Brazil and France where in both matches they were embarrassed losing 6-0. After those matches, Australia sacked their coach and have since appointed Ange Postecoglou. Their WC qualifying group was not too much competitive - the only decent team they faced was Japan and they played to a couple of 1-1 draws.
WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP B FIXTURES
- 13.06.2014 Spain-Netherlands
- 14.06.2014 Chile-Australia
- 18.06.2014 Australia-Netherlands
- 18.06.2014 Spain-Chile
- 23.06.2014 Australia-Spain
- 23.06.2014 Netherlands-Chile
WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP B ODDS
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