Spain v Netherlands - Chelsea new boy can make mark

2010 World Cup holders take on runners up in an epic re-match. Both Spain and Netherlands will want to gain an early advantage in what is a tough group.

To be played on Friday 13th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.

Odds: Spain 17/20, Draw 23/10, Netherlands 18/5

Preview & injury news

The last time either of these teams were playing in the World Cup they were playing each other - and they start this World Cup in the same fashion.

Winners and holders of the World Cup, Spain, will be looking for a fourth straight major success, however a tricky first group game against Netherlands stands in their way. Meanwhile Netherlands will be looking to extract some revenge from what was a painful night four years ago.

Of course both squads will have aged and changed since then but Spain still remain favourites for the tie. The core of Iniesta, Xavi and Alonso will all be expected to start, with the steady back two of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique in front Casillas. Chelsea FC new boy Cesc Fabregas will likely play as an attacking midfielder behind Diego Costa who play through the middle up top.

Manchester United FC fans will be looking to see what they can expect from newly appointed manager Louis van Gaal. If the warm up games are anything to go by van Gaal could line up three at the back, but this may be seen as risky with all of Spain’s attacking prowess. One thing for sure is Reds striker and Netherlands’ captain Robin van Persie will be key to any form of success.

There are no fresh injury concerns.

Key stats

Wesley Sneijder will make his 100th Cap

David Villa is Spain's all time top scorer with 58 goals in 96 caps

Robin van Persie is Netherlands' all time top scorer with 43 goals in 85 caps

5 players to watch

Iniesta - Named player of the tournament for Euro 2012, Andres Iniesta has the potential to turn any game on it’s head. Going a season without winning a medal is rare for Iniesta and he will be doing everything he can to rectify it at this World Cup.

van Persie - After a turbulent season at Old Trafford, van Persie has somewhat rejuvenated form for Netherlands under van Gaal. Buoyed by the constant appraisal of his new club manager, van Persie will be looking in sharp form.

Diego Costa - After an explosive season Costa has shown that he has every quality to light up this World Cup; speed, strength, finishing, heading and overhead kicks. This will be his first major international tournament of any kind and will have no fear going into this competition.

Vorm - An unused squad member of the Euro 2012 squad, Vorm is now Louis van Gaals number 1. The Swansea FC goalkeeper has had mixed fortunes this season, but a dabble in Europe has given him an international taste.

Fabregas - On the back of £30m anyone would be flying, expect Cesc Fabregas to also be. Since providing the assist for Iniesta at the last World Cup, Fabregas has matured into a fine playmaker and deadly finisher.

Last time they met

Spain 0-0 Netherlands (1-0 aet), 2010, July.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch