The final meaningful match in Group B action kicks off Monday afternoon, and shockingly it doesn’t involve the defending champions from Spain. As has been well documented by now, the Spaniards had an abysmal 2014 World Cup campaign and have already been eliminated before their final match. They were soundly beaten by both the Dutch and Chileans, and as a result these two squads will square off for the right to win Group B.
Although both these teams advance, this match is still absolutely imperative to both of these squads progressing deep at the World Cup. Simply put, the winner of this match in all likliehood will avoid playing Brazil in the round of 16. Of course, this is assuming Brazil does in fact top Group A, but they should be able to get past an unconvincing Cameroon squad. Both teams are well aware of what’s at stake, and both Chile and the Netherlands will be gunning to sit atop Group B after 90 minutes.
Chile vs. Netherlands Betting Odds:
Chile (+160) / Draw (+250) / Netherlands (+160)
Over 2.5 (-130) / Under 2.5 (+110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chile vs. Netherlands Pick:
Even though this group has been quite shocking with the Spanish already eliminated, it shouldn’t diminish the interest of this match. Chile and Netherlands are undoubtedly two of the top sides in this competition, and whoever finishes second in Group B will definitely not roll over for their likely round of 16 opponents, the host Brazilians. Chile and the Dutch are extremely offensive groups, with an abundance of flair and creativity when they possess the ball. It should be a very back-and-forth affair in a match to avoid the pre-tournament favourites.
The situation is simple – a draw or win, and the Dutch finish first, and a Chilean victory means they top the group. This is because the Dutch hold a superior goal differential to Chile, mostly due to their 5-1 thrashing of Spain in their first match. However, securing a point won’t come easy for the Dutch as word. They’ll also likely be without key defender Bruno Martins Indi, who has been rumoured to have endured a concussion against the Australians.
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli has hinted at Dutch deficiencies prior to this contest and will aim to exploit those. It’s expected the Dutch will likely line-up with a 5-3-2 formation, content to not give up too many chances en route to a draw, but that really isn’t the style of the Netherlands. For starters, they don’t possess a very sturdy back-line, especially without Bruno Martins Indi. And also, the Chileans have the ability to pick teams apart if that’s how their opposition wants to play. Chile does have some injury concerns, mainly to key midfielder Arturo Vidal, but all have vowed to be healthy for this pivotal clash.
Expect the Chileans to do the majority of the attacking in the early going. They simply have to find a way to win this game if their World Cup continues past the host Brazilians. Brazil has knocked Chile out of this tournament on three previous occasions, and you can bet Chile will look to avoid that scenario once again. The Dutch will look to soak up much of the pressure, but Chile’s attacking prowess is too talented to be held off for long. Without Bruno Martins Indi as that towering presence, Chile will be able to find openings within the Dutch defence.
The Dutch will look to hammer the Chileans on the counter. Chile’s glaring weakness is their defense, and they can be had on the counter. Arjen Robben will be key at chasing down balls and wreaking havoc on the back-line of Chile. Ultimately, expect Chile to strike first. The trio of Eduardo Vargas, Vidal, and Sanchez were the three best players against Spain, and they won’t be held off the scoresheet. This will force the match to open up and put the Netherlands on the attack. Expect fireworks and a back-and-forth affair in this thrilling battle to avoid Brazil. Predicting an eventual winner, but goals will be there for the taking in this explosive affair. Back the over 2.5 in what should be a thrilling conclusion to Group B action.
PICK = Over 2.5 (-130)