With Brazil widely tipped to win Group A, Group B participants will be looking to avoid meeting the Seleccao in the first knockout stage, but pipping holders Spain to the first place in the group could prove to be mission impossible. La Furia Roja are searching for their fourth consecutive title at major tournaments and they are clearly favourites to win this group.
Rejuvenated Netherlands side led by experienced coach Louis van Gaal and stars like Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie aim to improve on their Euro 2012 showing when they crashed out in the group stage and they are likely to battle up-and-coming Chile side for the second place in the group, with Australia not really expected to create too many problems at the 2014 World Cup.
Winners of Group B
Having won the title at the Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, Spain have got to be considered one of the main candidates to lift the World Cup title in Brazil, let alone to win Group B. Even with some uncertainty surrounding Diego Costa, La Furia Roja have got too many quality players and a wealth of experience among their ranks to allow any surprises during the group stage.
Spain look strong in all areas of the team, while their team spirit was never in question, with Real, Barca and Atletico stars easily overcoming all club differences to give their maximum for the country.
Best Odds to Win Group B
And even if Netherlands and Chile have the potential to cause them some problems, Vicente Del Bosque’s charges look a good bet to finish top of Group B and potentially avoid Brazil in the Last 16 stage.
To Qualify from Group B
As I have already outlined, Spain should be a safe bet to make it to the Last 16 stage, with Netherlands and Chile almost certain to battle for the second qualifying berth. Seeing as how Australia lack the quality to play at this level, it could come down to the final group game between the two rivals.
And while many will be backing Oranje to emerge victorious, I believe that they will eventually crash out in the group stage. Louis van Gaal’s side may have plenty of potential, but they have been known to crumble under pressure even with much more experienced sides than the current one. Chile, on the other hand, will be well accustomed to the harsh climate, while their explosive players are likely to prove too much for the youthful Netherlands side.
Best Odds To Qualify from Group B
Despite impressing in the qualifiers, Louis van Gaal’s side have yet to properly gel, while the fact Robin van Persie is far from his best is unlikely to help. Taking also into account that the likes of Sanchez, Vargas and Vidal have been in stunning form this season, my advice is to back Chile to qualify.
Group B Match Betting Tips
If they are to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages, Chile will need to win their opening fixture against Australia, with boss Jorge Sampaoli and his men well aware of this. La Roja have proved to be a very homogeneous unit that work extremely hard and show incredible consistency, while the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas can be trusted to produce some magic when things are not going according to plan. And with Australia arriving at the tournament finals with a pretty average and inexperienced squad, backing Chile to win the game offers excellent value.
Group B Team to Concede Most Goals
Considering that they will almost certainly finish the campaign at rock bottom, Australia can also be tipped to concede most goals in Group B. The youthful back line will have their work cut out for them against some of world’s best attackers when facing Chile, Netherlands and Spain, and it may be important to note that the Socceroos have conceded stunning 16 goals in last four friendly matches against 2014 World Cup participants.
Both Teams to Score Match Tips
Even if Spain and Netherlands are both great attacking teams, the fact this will be the opening match of Group B will probably ensure both managers adopt a very cautious approach. Therefore, if we are searching for a match likely to produce a fair share of goals, we should look no further than Spain vs Chile, where the holders are expected to attack from the off, but at the same time they will be prone to lethal counterattacks by La Roja.