Countdown to the World Cup: Group B
1. Spain – The defending champions are FIFA’s #1 team in the world. If the Spanish pull this out they will be considered as one of the greatest teams of all time. They went 6-0-2 in qualifiers allowing only 3 goals against. Spain has the knack for making teams pay for any mistake, their opponents are well aware. This appears to be a team without a weakness, they are deep enough to overcome a lot of red cards, Spain will advance and may only get ousted by penalty shots.
2. Netherlands – They will start with a rematch of 2010’s final and the winner of that game wins the group. They crushed the competition in qualifiers highlighted by an 8-1 win over Hungary. Robin van Persie may be the best striker in the world, he has scored 11 goals in qualifiers. The Netherlands will advance out of group play are one of a dozen or so teams that could win it all. The Dutch also have the best uniforms in the world, I love the ocean of bright orange in the stands, that counts for something here.
3. Chile – Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez is the face of the team and Chile is a dangerous team that can beat any team on any day. They have had the recent highs of beating England but also the lows of losing to Peru. Chile cannot afford to be anything other then outstanding to earn points from the Dutch and Spanish. How sweet it would be for Chileans to take a game from their former imperial overlords. I doubt it will happen though and I would be surprised if they are playing past the group round.
4. Australia – If they were playing rugby or cricket the good folks from down under would embarrass their 2014 World Cup Group B foes. But this is soccer, and the Aussies are going to have to watch their boys lose 3 in a row. Socceroo fans should find a seat at their local pub, order a meat pie and a Tooheys New, place a bet at the TAB and take the piss out of it.