While both sides have already been eliminated, Australia clearly go into the final group game in better mood having shown a great deal of potential in matches against Chile and Netherlands. Meanwhile, La Furia Roja end their title defence on Monday and they will want to at least crash out with a win.
Promising display from the Socceroos
Widely tipped to be the whipping boys of Group B, Australia have managed to prove the doubters wrong even if they have yet to win the first point at the 2014 World Cup. The weak back line also went on to concede six goals in two group matches, but the Socceroos managed to make life difficult for both Chile and Netherlands, scoring three goals in the process, and will now attempt to pour more misery on holders Spain. Australia clearly profited from the fact that their opponents were not at their best when facing Ange Postecoglu’s side, but I really cannot see them causing an upset against Spain since La Furia Roja will be determined to win their final match at tournament finals. Australia will be without important midfielders Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan, but it is the absence of star player Tim Cahill that is going to prove a major blow, with the veteran forward scoring in both matches at the 2014 World Cup. With that in mind, the Socceroos are unlikely to be a threat up front when facing Vicente Del Bosque’s side.
Tim Cahill misses out through suspension, whilst Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan are almost certain to forfeit due to injury.
End of an era
Spain were always going to have a tough task of winning the fourth straight trophy at major tournament, but chances are not too many people could have predicted they will crash out in group stage in spite of the quality of sides in Group B. Things could have been different had David Silva scored from a glorious chance to make it 2-0 against the Netherlands, but the 5-1 defeat that ensued was nothing less than they deserved for a lacklustre performance. Chile then managed to pour more misery on Vicente Del Bosque’s side and sent La Furia Roja packing, with the outcome of Australia match unlikely to change anything. Nevertheless, the boss is widely expected to give some fringe players a chance to shine in the final group game and that should bring an improvement as they will be eager to impress the boss and keep their place in the squad ahead of the start of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. Therefore, Spain look a good bet to say goodbye to the title with a comfortable win.
Gerard Pique and David De Gea miss out through injury, while the likes of Koke, Fabregas, Mata, Cazorla and Villa are all expected to start.
Australia may have shown a great deal of potential in the first two matches, catching their opponents off guard, but with three key players missing, they could find it hard to match Spain. La Furia Roja will attempt to at least win their final game even if that will not change much, but I can see them turning on the style against the Socceroos.
Top pick: Spain/Spain 2.00 (1/1) @ Betfair
Alternative pick 1: Spain to win to nil 2.62 (13/8) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 2: Spain to score three or more 2.30 (13/10) @ Coral