In what turns out be a rematch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, reigning champions Spain clash against the Robin van Persie-led Netherlands in all important Group B tie.
In what turns out be a rematch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, reigning champions Spain clash against the Robin van Persie-led Netherlands in all important Group B tie. Spain who are vying to be only the third nation ever to win consecutive World Cups, will once again rely on the veteran heads of Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and all-world keeper Iker Casillas.
Spain and the Netherlands will be playing for the 11th time in the World Cup with the former heading the advantage of 5 wins. Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque has a huge selection dilemma up his sleeves as far as the striking position is concerned. In-form Diego Costa is still nursing an injury and so del Bosque might have to go with out-of-form Fernando Torres or David Villa or else play a false number nine like he did so often in Euro 2012.
On the other side, Louis Van Gaal’s Netherlands will be no pushovers. After their disappointment in the 2010 World Cup, the Oranje will be looking for revenge against the Spanish. Van Persie and company didn’t have a problem in the pre-World Cup qualifying as they netted 34 goals in 10 matches while winning nine and drawing one. The team will have to rely on their three experienced stars up: Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder to deliver the goods against a formidable Spanish outfit.
Both the sides are favourites for the World Cup but it all depends on the quality they put out on the field. With injuries and poor form plaguing these two teams, a win for either sides would be a welcome relief rather than a defeat.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David De Gea, Pepe Reina
Defenders: Raul Albiol, Gerard Pique, Javi Martínez, Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Santi Cazorla, David Silva
Forwards: David Villa, Fernando Torres, Pedro Rodriguez, Diego Costa
Coach: Vicente Del Bosque
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Michel Vorm, Tim Krul
Defenders: Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Daryl Janmaat, Paul Verhaegh, Joel Veltman, Terence Kongolo
Midfielders: Nigel de Jong, Jonathan de Guzman, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Jordy Clasie, Leroy Fer, Georginio Wijnaldum
Forwards: Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt, Jeremain Lens, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Memphis Depay
Coach: Louis Van Gaal