2014 World Cup: Spain Must Put Pressure On Netherlands And Chile With Win In Opening Group Game

By Craig Pearson
Alvaro Negrado and Xavi celebrate a Spain goal
Getty Images

At this year’s World Cup in Brazil, Spain will be looking to not only win the trophy for the second time, but to make history also in the process. A second World Cup in Brazil would make Spain the first European team to win the illustrious trophy on South American soil and only the third team in history to win back-to-back World Cups, after Brazil and Italy.

To achieve those lofty goals, though, Spain must first find their way out of the dangerous looking group that they find themselves in and preferably in first place. The most important match for Spain to go ahead and achieve that will be the match against the Netherlands. Spain will also have to face the extremely dangerous Chile as well, who will bring a lot of talent and will also gain an advantage of some kind from the Brazilian climate.

Both games will be difficult in their own way, but the Netherlands game will be the most crucial. If Spain can defeat the Dutch in their opening game, then that will immediately put the pressure onto the Netherlands ahead of their game against Chile, which will be their final game of the group stage. It is in the interests of Spain to apply that pressure and to make that match a highly tense and pressure driven affair.

Australia will be the fourth team in the group, but their hopes of getting out of this group look remote and to do so would represent a miraculous achievement for them. The Chile game will be tough for both of the European teams in Group B, however, especially in South America. And a win over the Netherlands in the first game will only serve to make it that little bit more complex for them than it would then be for the Spaniards.

It would place more pressure on the Dutch, as they could then afford no slip-ups against the Chileans — and a subsequent Netherlands win (or a draw) would then only benefit Spain in their quest for first place. To set that scenario up, though, Spain must first beat the Dutch in what will not only be their opening game of the tournament but no doubt their most important game of the group stage.


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