Group B: Spain v Chile preview

Spain to face Chile at Rio's Maracana, aiming to get their World Cup bid back on track and avoid an early exit.

    Group B: Spain v Chile preview
    Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said he was expecting an improved performance from Spain in Rio [EPA]

    Defending champions Spain will face the 'suicidal' attacking style of Chile at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday aiming to get their World Cup bid back on track and avoid an embarrassingly early exit.

    Spain were ripped to shreds in a morale-sapping 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands in their Group B opener on Friday – their worst World Cup loss since a 6-1 mauling by Brazil in 1950.

    With Chile recording a 3-1 victory over Australia in their opening match thanks to a suicidal attacking style, according to midfielder Arturo Vidal, the South Americans will reach the next round if they beat Spain and the Dutch sink the Socceroos in Wednesday's first clash.

    "For them it's going to be a fight to the death," Chile forward Esteban Paredes said of Spain. "And for us it's going to be a real final, because a win will mean we are almost qualified."

    The Australians are expected to provide little resistance to the Dutch in Porto Alegre (1600 GMT) before Spain look to repeat their 2010 trick of losing their opening match but going on to win the tournament.

    Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli and midfielder Marcelo Diaz are expecting an improved performance from Vicente del Bosque's men at the Maracana.

    Sampaoli commented on Tuesday that Spain are one of the best teams in the world and he expects their experienced players to play a big part in the fixture.

    This thought was reiterated by Marcelo Diaz who said that Wednesday's opponents have some of the best players in the world in their ranks.

    Diaz did admit though that Spain may be feeling some pressure following the 5-1 loss last week.

    Venue: Maracana, Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho - Rio de Janeiro

    Kick-off: June 18, 1900GMT

    Key stats: Spain's 5-1 defeat not only means they are bottom of the group, their goal difference is also inferior meaning they might need to score heavily in their two remaining group matches in order to qualify.

    Chile have never won against Spain in their 10 previous fixtures.

    Spain have won against Chile (2-0) at the World Cup in 1950. That game was also played at the Maracana.

    In the 2010 World Cup finals Spain became the first team to ever lift the World Cup trophy after having lost their opening game of the tournament.

    Referee for this match is Mark Geiger from the United States.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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