Can Holland make a run in 2014 World Cup?

First game versus Spain will set stage for Holland in 2014 World Cup

12/6/13 in Soccer   |   ZacWassink   |   74 respect

Dec 6, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; A general view of the 2014 World Cup draw during the World Cup draw event in advance of the MLS Cup at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsThe Netherlands won't have to wait long once the 2014 FIFA World Cup begins in order to get a bit of revenge.

Holland found themselves placed in Group B of the World Cup. With them will be defending champions Spain, who defeated the Dutch in the 2010 World Cup Final. Chile and Australia finish off the group.

Arguably the biggest game of Group B begins right on Day 1, when Spain and the Netherlands face off. The winner of this contest, if there is one, should, in theory, qualify for the knockout rounds of the World Cup. A draw would make things extremely interesting, however, especially if a decent Chile side beat up on Australia.

Chile are currently at 15 in the FIFA world rankings. They finished beneath both Argentina and Colombia in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, and three points ahead of both Uruguay and Ecuador.

If Holland lose to/draw with Spain...=

they'll still be fine as long as they take care of their business against both Chile and Australia. Yes, Chile will, if he's healthy, trot Alexis Sanchez out onto the pitch versus the Dutch. He's an incredible player, but it's not an overstatement to say that Chile don't match up position-by-position with Holland.

The Netherlands will get whatever they deserve if they can't get a result against Australia.

What's most concerning about Holland not beating Spain right out of the gate is what it would mean for the country following the group stages. Assuming that the Netherlands finish second in their group, that would put them in a showdown with the team that wins Group A.

That will probably be Brazil, hosts of the World Cup and the best national team to play in 2013. Holland got the job done versus Brazil in 2010, but next summer would be a much different scenario. I have little faith that the Dutch would win what would essentially be a road World Cup match.

If Holland defeat Spain...

this is where things get interesting. First and foremost, beating Spain should mean an automatic ticket to the next round of the World Cup. I've already touched upon what might happen if Holland finish second in the group.

Winning Group B could set the Netherlands up for another magical run. Their second round contest would put them against the A2 team; Mexico, Croatia or Cameroon. Unless Mexico manage to flip the switch and put their lousy 2013 well into the past, I wouldn't be surprised to see Holland win this match by multiple goals.

Things get much trickier after that. Holland could see Uruguay, a team with an attack that features Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, in the quarterfinal round. Those two have the goods to, no pun intended, eat up a Dutch back line that has been far too inconsistent since Euro 2012. I have Uruguay beating Holland in my first 2014 World Cup bracket.

No team has an easy go of it come final four time. Logic indicates that Holland would have to beat either Argentina or Belgium in order to get to the Final. Argentina are certainly beatable, but a Belgium side that is on a roll coming off of two big wins in a row is downright frightening.

To hoist the World Cup next summer, the Netherlands will likely have to defeat one of these three teams in the Final; Germany, Brazil, or Spain. Holland don't match up all that great with any of those sides. The Dutch would have to play their best game of the competition and receive a little bit of luck in order to emerge as the last country standing.

One of the most fun things about the World Cup draw is that it happens so many months in advance to the start of the actual tournament. Thousands upon thousands of simulations will be run between now and June. That, of course, is also a maddening part of the process.

It's the waiting that kills you.

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