Group B could be set for another shock tonight fresh on the heals of Spain’s five goal humiliation with the match between Spain and Chile in Rio.
Spain will line-up for this match on the back of a crushing defeat and with the eyes of the world waiting to see how they respond. They will definitely come out fighting and their wounded pride should make them a much tougher unit. If the reigning champions of both Europe and the World have anything to prove, which is a statement in itself which sounds crazy, it will be tonight. The mistakes the Spanish team made are resolvable and let’s face it Chile will not have Arjen Robben to torment the Spaniards defence.
Chile will go into the game knowing that the Spanish will be looking to prove a point and will also know that a draw against Spain may well be enough to progress with the Netherlands the way things stand so may well set-up a more defence-minded team. Spain have to win well, something that their often meandering system makes difficult to achieve and it remains to be seen if they make changes or play Costa or Torres up-front at all. Making changes now as England may discover could backfire and put players in unfamiliar territory.
Chile’s greatest strength is in their attack with Barcelona’s 25-year-old Alexis Sanchez providing significant threat up-front. Australia were never going to provide stiff opposition being officially one of the weakest teams in the finals but Chile won the game comfortably in the end enjoying 63% possession on the way to a 3-1 victory. They are up and running and are showing that their away win over England was not a fluke and that they have a good chance now to qualify for the second round. Chile have a great attack and I am sure will be looking forward to taking on Spain’s defence which was let down by poor communication between the two centre-backs.
Will be a difficult game to predict but I would go with a 1-1 draw leaving Spain needing to win big against Australia and the Dutch needing to beat Chile well if the reigning champions are to progress beyond a three game World Cup.