The Spanish National Football Team is now back at their base camp in the city of Curitiba recovering physically & morally thinking about their next match against Chile. The mathematics are quite simple, in order to stay in the competition & qualify beyond the Group phase, Spain must defeat Chile & then defeat Australia with plenty of goals. The first will be another difficult affair, while Australia can be defeated but they wont be so easy to bag a "ton of goals". Ironically Holland can do Spain a huge favour if they can win Chile. The mission in itself is feasible for Spain, they lost their first game in 2010 & later won the tournament, plus many Football observers including other National Coaches & players have warned that Spain could be more dangerous now than ever.
|Spain starting XI vs Holland - Group B FIFA World Cup 2014|
Putting aside for now what will need to be done, the immediate future is Chile & this will be a "sudden death" Final for them as Spain must win or prepare their flight tickets back home. The Holland match saw a fairly good 1ºst half from Spain, the disaster was the 2º half. Tiredness? Lack of concentration? Motivation? The heat? The obvious answer is Holland played their cards correctly. But to allow 5 goals into the Spanish net, must be more reasons?
Local observers have pointed to the players (perhaps easy targets) like Casillas, Pique, Xavi Hernandez & Silva. There are more names but these are the ones that stand out. The calling is for changes in the starting XI, more in form men, more youth, more speed & perhaps more verticality. Spanish Coach Vicente del Bosque has already hinted at changes but we do not know the extend or depth. One called for change will not occur, goalkeeper Iker Casillas will continue. So where are the changes expected?
Here is possible starting XI Spanish team against Chile:
Casillas, Azpilicueta, Javi Martinez, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xabi Alonso, Sergi Busquets, Koke, Iniesta, Perdo & Diego Costa (perhaps Villa).
Those speculated to be sacrificed would be Pique, Xavi Hernandez & Silva, with Diego Costa an unknown. Those speculated to be included are Javi Martinez, Koke & Pedro.
Is this a better team? Not necessarily, what is being looked for is defensive stability, freshness & pace along with a more vertical approach towards goal. The other question is will the Spanish squad recover mentally & morally from the Dutch hammering & how will Casillas himself recover. In theory both should be OK but the human mind is still a great unknown & Chile are not at the World Cup to be a healing therapy for the Spaniards
Who would you take out & who would you put in?