Group B in the 2014 World Cup will feature the world’s top soccer side according to the current FIFA rankings. The competition for the second slot in the next part of the World Cup is expected to be close as well. This is the group of surprise as the pundits are calling it; the one to keep eyes on.
Although Australia was the runner-up in the AFC Fourth Round Group B event, the team still has a very low FIFA ranking at #57. However, Australia has still reached its third straight World Cup. Ange Postecoglou will be the new coach for the side during the World Cup. Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill will be players worth watching during the event. Cahill, who is competing with the New York Red Buills of the MLS, has 31 goals in 67 international matches with the national team.
Chile was the third place team in the South American Zone qualifying event and is currently being coached by Jorge Sampaoli. Alexis Sanchez, who has been playing with Barcelona recently, will be interesting to watch. He had 18 goals in 33 games in the most recent season with Barcelona. He also had eight goals in eleven games with the Chilean team during last year’s action. Juventus’ Arturo Vidal is also expected to be one of the biggest names to watch for while taking a look at the Chilean team this year.
The side is also looking to get its first ever victory against Spain in the World Cup. Chile has lost on both occasions that they have met with the last being in the 2010 group stage.
The Netherlands were the runners-up in the 2010 World Cup, having lost 1-0 to Spain in overtime in the championship game. The Oranje will be headed by Louis Van Gaal but it is Robin Van Persie that is leading the way for the squad. Currently playing for Manchester United, Van Persie has 41 goals in 82 matches with the Oranje since 2005. He has scored 38 goals for Man U in the past two seasons, thus making him one of the most prolific competitors in the world.
One of the biggest matches of the 2014 World Cup will come on June 13 in Salvador when Spain takes on the Netherlands. While the ante is much lower this time around, Spain will be looking to show just why the squad is the world’s top-ranked side according to recent FIFA rankings.
Spain won its first World Cup last time around and is looking to get back on top this year. La Furia Roja is led by David Villa and Fernando Torres but Xavi will be looking to get back in the swing of things during the World Cup. The midfielder only had four goals in the past year with Barcelona and is looking to get back to his old double-digit total from a few years ago. The World Cup may be his big starting point for getting back up there.