2014 World Cup Match Day Preview: Day 2

So we got the anxious wait out of the way and we are into the second day of action. Since there was only one fixture in match-day 1 this day we will be watching 3 match-ups, one of which can already set the tone for the eventual winner of the group.

Mexico vs. Cameroon

Match Info

This one will be hosted at the brand spanking new Arena das Dunas in city of Natal, with a capacity of 45,000. If you are travelling to Natal to catch the game, I've got good news for you, it's another city on the beach.

For TV times and channels please check your local listings.

Mexico and Cameroon met just once before, with the Central Americans coming out on top by a score of 1-0.

Mexico has impressed in the warm-up matches and will certainly look to gain the crucial 3 points against the "minnows" from Africa. The Cameroonians are pretty far away now from the days of Roger Milla and the surprises of the late 80s and early 90s but as we know all too well, it's never a good idea to count the African nations out too early.

Players to Watch

My Mexican player to watch would have to be Giovani dos Santos. The man who can't seem to find a permanent home for his club career will have a lot of pressure from the fans back home as he wears the number 10 on his back. On the Cameroonian side it has to be "old man" Samuel Eto'o. How much impact can the African striker provide for his less than favorite to qualify out of the group side Cameroon.

Spain vs. Netherlands

Match Info

The most enticing fixture on the day is the re-match of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands. For this one we are off to the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, a stadium with the capacity of 50,000. 

Spain and Netherlands have met 9 times in previous competitions and have an identical head-to-head record of 4 wins, a draw and 4 losses. Spain does have a 3 goal advantage in their meetings.

This match will almost certainly crown the group winner unless the match concludes in a draw. Spain is looking to defend their title, while the Dutch are still chasing that very first World Cup championship celebration. Both teams surely understand that coming in 2nd place in this group means a likely meeting with hosts Brazil in the second round, so a laid back approach to their match may not be the best game-plan. 

Players to Watch

From the Spanish side I'll be watching Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid full-back has been instrumental this year for the Champions League winners, doing a terrific job both in defense and up front scoring some crucial goals for his club. The Netherlands always rely heavily on Arjen Robben and I would like to see if the Bayern Munich winger can provide the Dutch with enough creativity in transition to surprise the defending World Cup champions. 

Chile vs. Australia

Match Info

The second match of group B between Chile and Australia will be played at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá. The stadium seats just under 40,000 spectators, most of which I presume would be of the Chilean variety given the proximity of Chile to host country Brazil.

The two countries met on 4 previous occasions, with the Australians managing just one draw, losing the other three matches. 

Chile will certainly look to pick up all 3 points from this fixture. A win will give the Chileans an opportunity of qualifying for the next round if they can manage a surprise in one of their next two matches (against Spain and Netherlands). The Australians are a confident bunch, but surely they understand that not many will be giving them a chance to come out with more than 1 point out of this group, a point they will be looking to achieve against the South Americans on match-day 2. 

Players to Watch

Of course on the Chilean side all eyes will be on Juvetus midfielder Arturo Vidal, while on the Aussie side it'll be forward Tim Cahill. Against a team like Australia, Vidal could swing the game to his squads favor by controlling the midfield. Cahill on the other hand will have to provide the Soceroos with attacking options as it is very unlikely that Australia could manage even 1 point without scoring against the Chileans.


Match-day 2 - Staff Picks 

Pedro: Mexico 0-1 Cameroon, Spain 2-1 Netherlands, Chile 4-0 Australia
Kon: Mexico 1-0 Cameroon, Spain 2-2 Netherlands, Chile 3-0 Australia
Iain: Mexico 2-0 Cameroon, Spain 1-1 Netherlands, Chile 3-1 Australia


  1. 3 interesting games today forsure.. nice write up,

    Non Staff Pick: Mexico 1 Cameroon 1, Spain 1 Netherlands 0, Chile 3 Aussies 1