This is the first time that the finalists of the previous edition of the world cup play one another in their respective opening fixture of the next edition and Spain will look to do the double over their fellow European opposition.
Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.
Date: June 13th
Time: 12:30 am IST
Where to Watch Live: (See Full List HERE)
The second match of the 2014 World Cup is scheduled for a 4 pm local time (9.30 pm IST, 8 pm BST, 3 pm ET). US viewers can watch the game on ESPN and ABC while the live streaming online will be available HERE. Australians can click HERE to watch the game online, while those in Africa and South Africa, in particular, can view the match HERE. In India, with live coverage will be on TV channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD. For live streaming of the match click HERE in India.
Spain and the Dutch have been the expected sides to progress from Group B and both these European giants will gun for the top spot. With the one finishing in second place most likely to face Brazil in the pre quarters, there is all the more pressure on them to treat this match on par with a finale to avoid facing the hosts.
Spain seem to be in top form winning 3 major titles over the last few years and they have been branded as one of the favourites to lift the cup. The Netherlands on the other hand have made a lot of changes to their side that now sports a young look when compared to the yesteryears. The defense will be their Achilles heel as the back four lack experience to deal with the Spanish Armada. Villa and Co might be too hot to handle for them and Van Gaal will be certainly aware of what his side is pit against.
Line ups: Spain (4-3-3): Casillas – Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba – Xavi, Busquets,
Xabi Alonso – David Silva, Villa, Iniesta.
Netherlands (4-3-1-2): Vorm– Janmaat, de Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi – de Guzman, de Jong, Fer– Sneijder – Van Persie, Robben.
Prediction: 3-1 to Spain
Players to watch out for: Spain – Iniesta – World Cup hero Andres Iniesta will be the man to watch out for. He is the midfield general for the La Furia Rojas and his trickery and passing game will be a delight to watch.
Netherlands – Robin Van Persie has been handed the responsibility of leading the Dutch attack and he will look to replicate his club form for the national side. The Dutch have been blessed with some great midfielders and Van Persie will have the service necessary to rake up more goals to his credit.