Starting with a final
The biggest clash of the opening weekend of the World Cup is a repeat of the 2010 final: Spain vs the Netherlands.
Many of the same players who held the trophy aloft at Soccer City in Soweto four years ago are back to represent Spain this time around – but now they have star Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa to add a cutting edge to their customary ‘tika-taka’ passing game.
The Dutch, who will be remembered for trying to unsettle Spain with a physical approach to the 2010 final, will be relying on captain Robin van Persie, aided by the speed and trickery of Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, for their goals.
The Netherlands’ coach Louis van Gaal will be watched extra closely by Manchester United fans, as he is to replace dismissed coach David Moyes after the Brazil tournament. .