Group: Spain Vs Netherlands – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador at 10.00PM (EAT)
Chile Vs Australia – Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba 1.00AM (EAT)
In what is a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final game, holders Spain begin their title defence against last event’s runners up Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.
Vincente Del Bosque’s charges come into the game with 16 members of the 2010 World Cup winning team whilst the Dutch have only six survivors from the last campaign. The reigning world champions have no injury worries ahead of the tie with Brazilian born Diego Costa passed fit.
On the other hand, Louis Van Gaal also has all options available to him after Jonathan De Guzman recovered well from a hamstring while captain Robin Van Persie is able to play despite having a niggling injury. “The last few days I have trained fully and so have no more problems,” Van Persie is quoted by BBC Sport. “I am ready for it. Besides, for six years I have been playing with aches and pains, there is always something and I have learned to live with it.”
The two sides have previously met 10 times with Spain winning five, Netherlands four and one draw. Their only World Cup meeting was the 1-0 win for Spain in 2010. Despite going on to win the title in 2010, Spain lost their opener to Switzerland and the Dutch will fancy their chances given that World Cup defending champions haven’t fared well in openers. They have only won three in previous ten drawing 4 with 3 losses.
In the other game of the group, Chile take on Australia at Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba.