World Cup 2014: Heartbreak for Brazil?


  • The Gaffer
  • Monday, 23 Jun 2014

World Cup 2014: Today in pictures

It has come to the final game for the group stage. Some teams have secured their quarter-final places, others still have some praying to do.


Group A

Cameroon vs Brazil; Croatia vs Mexico

Three teams are looking to qualify, including home favourite Brazil. There is also European dark horse Croatia and Concacaf heavyweights Mexico.

Among them, Brazil will have an easier match when they face Cameroon who are virtually out of contention.

Luiz Felipe Scolari will surely be under pressure to get the three points.

Neymar will again be the keyman for this match but Scolari will surely push other players like Fred, Oscar, Hulk and Paulinho to contribute to the team's cause.

Volker Finke knows the challenge is over for Cameroon more so as he will be without talismans Samuel Eto'o and Alexandre Song. Finke might start with his second stringers to give them some game time in Brazil.

Mexico versus Croatia will be the most anticipated match with Mexico just needing a draw while it is a must-win match for Croatia.

Niko Kovac's Croatia was unfortunate to lose against Brazil in the first match but impressed against Cameroon when they beat them 4-0.

Mario Mandzukic started his campaign well by scoring two goals in that game and he will surely be in the starting lineup for this match. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will be tasked to provide the ammunition for Mandzukic.

Mexico have looked promising as well. Miguel Herrera's side impressed against Cameroon and held Brazil in their second match.

Guillermo Ochoa has looked impressive in goal and Herrera will be hoping to see another great performance from Ochoa.

Giovanni Dos Santos, Javier Aquino and Oribe Peralta will have to put in extra shifts as they will face a strong Croatian defence led by Dejan Lovren.

The result? Brazil routing Cameroon 5-0 and Mexico surprising Croatia 2-1.

Group B

Netherlands vs Chile; Australia vs Spain

Chile and Netherlands are through to the next round but now, both teams will fight it out for the top spot for an easier quarter-final opponent.

Louis Van Gaal's side started off well by beating Spain 5-1 but they had to dig deep to beat Australia 3-2.

Netherlands will not have Robin van Persie due to suspension and he looks set to be replaced with either Jermain Lens or Memphis Depay, who scored the winning goal against Australia.

Bruno Martins Indi might also miss this match and he might be replaced with Terence Kongolo or van Gaal might switch to 3-5-2 for this match.

Chile have said they want to win this match at all coast and Jorge Sampaoli will surely start with his best eleven.

Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez will be the key players for Chile. Netherlands will have to be wary of Chile's swift counter attacks and marauding wing-backs like Mauricio Isla and Jean Beausejour can cause lots of problems if not contained.

As for the other match, both Australia and Spain are playing for pride. Nobody wants to finish last and I'm expecting this to be an open game.

Vicente Del Bosque might opt for a new line up and gives the second stringers a chance to play in this World Cup. See the likes of Pepe Reina, Koke, Santi Cazorla and Juanfran playing in this match.

Ante Postecoglou might stick with his current line but without the services of Tim Cahill who is suspended. See the likes of Matthew Leckie, Ryan Halloran and Mile Jedinak impressing in this match.

Who will top Group B? Netherlands to beat Chile 2-1 while Spain to leave Brazil with the consolation 3-0 win over Australia.

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