Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o will try and score just to do his "old man with an achy back" celebration again. Nigel De Jong might help the Netherlands' chances if he gets more ambitious and kicks every Spanish player in the chest instead of just the one like last time, but this doesn't look close. And watch the Chilean miners' message to their national team before its match against Australia -- 10-0 will seem reasonable.Brooks Peck:
Christopher Sullivan: Mexico-Cameroon is a great matchup, but the African nation tying Germany on June 1 shows a team hitting its stride at the right time. In the repeat of the 2010 final, Netherlands will miss Rafael van der Vaart but should still manage a draw. Chile will build/progress through the rounds as Arturo Vidal and Jorge Valdivia return to form. Australia shouldn't pose a threat.
Martin Rogers: Mexico couldn't score in qualifying and still don't have much firepower, but should be able to do enough to keep Cameroon at bay. The matchup of the day is a wonderfully mouth-watering clash between the 2010 finalists. Either will be happy with a point here, and will be confident they can do enough in their remaining matches to move on to the Round of 16. The Aussies are woeful and were totally unconvincing in qualifying, while Chile are a genuine threat to get out of this, the "other" Group of Death.
Ryan Bailey: Both Mexico and Cameroon will be nervously vying for that second qualification space behind Brazil, but Mexico will have the edge here with an in-form Oribe Peralta up top. After a disastrous qualification campaign, they have much to prove. Holland will undoubtedly be seeking revenge for the 2010 World Cup final, but it remains to be seen if Robin van Persie can deliver or if Van Gaal’s youthful squad can handle themselves on this stage. Spain are not the team they were four years ago but are still very strong. Lastly: Sorry Australia, you’re probably going to be the worst team at this tournament and then you suffered a brutal draw. With a high pressure style and players like Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, Chile will comfortably win their opener.
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- Nigel De Jong
- Arturo Vidal
- Rafael van der Vaart