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FIFA World Cup 2014 Match Preview: Spain v/s Australia

Monday, 23 June 2014 - 8:37pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Spain has lost its crown and the World Cup holder’s humiliating defense of the title will come to an end Monday. Vicente Del Bosque’s men will now be looking for a victory over Australia to avoid further embarassment. Spain and Australia are already eliminated from the tournament, but the story is far more humbling for the Europeans. They have only managed to score one goal so far the opener in their disastrous 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands and were brushed aside at the Maracana as defeat to Chile sealed their fate.

AFP

No defending champion has ever exited a tournament without securing a single point and there is pride to play for following the end of Spain’s dominance of international soccer. Changes are expected after the tournament and Del Bosque is expected to give some of his stars their final minutes in a Spain shirt, with Xavi, Xabi Alonso and David Villa among those who may no longer be part of La Roja’s plans.

AFP

The decision to select Diego Costa has backfired, with the forward lacking form and fitness, while captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas is still in the firing line following his horror show against the Netherlands and could be replaced by Pepe Reina. The Spain coach is also likely to give some game time to some of the younger and less experienced members of his squad, such as Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke. It has been a far more encouraging World Cup for Australia, despite two defeats from two matches.

AFP

The Socceroos caused Chile problems before pushing the Netherlands in a 3-2 defeat that included a contender for goal of the tournament from Tim Cahill. The former Everton man has scored two of Australia’s three goals in Brazil but is suspended for the Spain clash after picking up yellow cards in both of his team’s matches. Mathew Leckie is expected to take Cahill’s role as Australia’s lone striker, with Ben Halloran coming in to play out wide.

Fact File:

This will be the first ever meeting between Australia and Spain.

Spain’s third group game against Australia will be their first ever against an Oceanic team in a FIFA World Cup (albeit Australia play in the Asian section).

Australia have only won one of their seven World Cup games against European opposition (2-1 v Serbia in 2010).

Australia need a draw to finish above reigning champions Spain.

Spain have never lost all three games in a World Cup group.

AFP

Tim Cahill has scored five of Australia’s 11 World Cup goals but is suspended for this game.

In winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, Spain conceded a total of six goals, one fewer than they have so far at World Cup 2014.

Spain join Italy 1950, Brazil 1966, France 2002 and Italy 2010 as reigning World Cup champions to exit the following tournament in the group stages.

In his 126 minutes of World Cup action so far, Diego Costa has failed to muster a single shot on target (only five shots in total).

Spain have hit 10 shots per game in this World Cup, down from 14 per game in their triumphant 2010 campaign. 

Here are the line-ups for the match:

Spain

Australia 

 


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