How they got to Brazil
Spain - First place finish in UEFA Group I
Currently ranked 1st in the FIFA rankings, Spain is 28-12-16 all-time in the World Cup with one title.
Netherlands - First place finish in UEFA Group D
Currently ranked 15th in the FIFA rankings, Holland is 22-10-11 all-time in the World Cup.
Chile - Third place finish in CONMEBOL qualifying
Currently 13th in the FIFA rankings, Chile is 9-6-14 all-time in the World Cup.
Australia - Second place finish in AFC Group B
Currently is ranked 59th in the FIFA rankings, Australia is 2-3-5 all-time in the World Cup.
Schedule of Games
|June 13 | 3 PM||Spain||Netherlands||Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador|
|June 13 | 6 PM||Chile||Australia||Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba|
|June 18 | 3 PM||Spain||Chile||Estádio do Maracaná, Rio de Janeiro|
|June 18 | 12 PM||Netherlands||Australia||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|June 23 | 12 PM||Australia||Spain||Arena da Baixada, Curitiba|
|June 23 | 12 PM||Netherlands||Chile||Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo|
Key Players in the Group
Tim Cahill, M, Australia - The New York Red Bull star will be going into what should be his last World Cup with the Aussies. Cahill has to be the guy to score for Australia in this group.
Arjen Robben, M, Netherlands - The Dutch midfielder is always a player to watch. We know what he can do on the wings and how dangerous he can be when he gets space to take chances on goal.
Arturo Vidal, M, Chile - He could be one of the most vocal players in this group, if not in this tournament. Vidal has been one of the top players in Serie A for the last couple of seasons. As long as he is completely fit for this tournament, he gives Chile the chance that they need to succeed in this group.
Fernando Torres, F, Spain - He isn't Spain's best player but sometimes he is the most dangerous. Torres always seems to come up big just when you need him to even though he'll be a headache the other 89 minutes of the match.
Game of the Group
Spain vs Netherlands - Come on, can there really be a better game to kickoff a group than a rematch of the last World Cup final? But this may be one of those groups that all games are must-see TV.
X-Factor in Group A
Heat. This is going to be a x-factor for a lot of teams in this tournament but it stands out more for this group with two of Europe's biggest and strongest teams headlining the group. We'll hear it a dozen times how European teams have never won the big one in the Western hemisphere.
Final thoughts and Predictions
Honestly I do see Spain going through this group with some relative ease. There will be a lot of tight games in this group, with maybe one blowout involving the Aussies. One of the two European sides will melt in the heat, which likely means it will be the Dutch.
Chile has a chance to make some serious noise in this group, and really I wouldn't be shocked to see them actually come out on top.