Brazil, Argentina and Germany may be the big favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, but Spain as holders from four years ago have every reason to feel confident.
The Spanish are also European champions from the last two tournaments so when they take on another fancied side, Holland, on Friday at 2 p.m. Cayman time in a Group B match, they will be brimming to prove detractors wrong.
First match of the day is in Group A where Mexico face Cameroon at 11 a.m.
Spain’s midfield generals Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta show no signs of ageing but a hamstring injury to star forward Diego Costa is a legitimate concern.
Spain’s depth, talent and experience make them outstanding favorites to win the group. The Dutch were runners-up to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final and want to go one better this time although the side is not in impressive form.
Nevertheless, they have the likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder in the mix and cannot be written off.
Chile seem to be a popular sleeper pick to cause an upset. Initially uncertain of reaching the World Cup finals after a bad start in qualifiers, Chile brought in Jorge Sampaoli as coach and the results have been outstanding since.
Australia, aka the Socceroos, are the lowest FIFA ranked team (No.62) in the entire tournament and seemingly just there to make up the numbers. At least they have world class players in captain Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) and Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls). Chile play Australia at 5 p.m.