World Cup Preview: Group B
By Vishnu Nagaraj
Group B: Group B consists of Spain, The Netherlands, Chile, and Australia. If you remember, Spain and Netherlands were the two finalists in the 2010 World Cup with Spain emerging as the winner. Spain will be heavily favored to win it all once again and truly cement themselves as one of, if not the greatest national team of all time. They have an ace up their sleeves this year with Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa who was recently nationalized and is now eligible to play for the Spanish team. He brings an element of physicality and power that Spain did not have at the last World Cup. Their incredible arsenal of midfielders cannot be forgotten as the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, and Juan Mata will be sure the run the game like they so often do. Their number one rival in this group is the very team that they defeated in the 2010 final. The Netherlands, led by outgoing manager Louis Van Gaal, are determined to avenge the emotional defeat in 2010. They are led by the explosive attacking trio of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin Van Persie. Look for the Netherlands attack to make up for their inexperience on the defensive end. Chile are also a force to be reckoned with in this group as they possess a complete squad with the ability to score plenty of goals and concede very few. They will look to Juventus’ midfield star Arturo Vidal to run the game from midfield and provide assists to their number one goal scorer Alexis Sanchez. This is a team that could pull off a surprise if they play at their peak level. Lastly, we have Australia. The Aussies aren’t known to be the strongest team in the world but they have enough quality to give the bigger teams headaches on the pitch.
Vishnu Nagaraj is a finance major at Binghamton University. He is a self-taught DJ and sports fanatic. His favorite teams are the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Chargers, and FC Barcelona. You can follow him on twitter at @DJVishMusic.