Jun 23, 2014 at 5pm UK at ‚ÄčArena de Baixada, Curitiba
FT(HT: 0-1)
Villa (36'), Torres (69'), Mata (82')
Ramos (62')

Preview: Australia vs. Spain

Preview: Australia vs. Spain
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to the World Cup group encounter between Australia and Spain, neither of whom can qualify for the next round.

Before the World Cup got underway, you would have been given long odds on defending champions Spain having no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament come the final group game.

However, following defeats against Holland and Chile, during which they conceded seven goals and scored just one, Vicente del Bosque's men know that whatever result they achieve against Australia in Curitiba, they will be returning home as soon as the final whistle is blown.

As a result, it is expected that Del Bosque will hand some of the fringe players in his squad a chance to start to the encounter.

After a string of errors in the first two group matches, goalkeeper Iker Casillas may drop out, with Pepe Reina and David de Gea - fitness permitting - waiting in the wings. Elsewhere, Koke may come into the midfield, with the likes of Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla both thought to be in contention.

Like Spain, the Australians have lost both of their matches and have also been eliminated. Yet, unlike the Spaniards, the unfancied Aussies have impressed in their defeats.

Former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has scored two of his nation's three goals at the tournament, but he will miss out against the Europeans through suspension.

Recent form

Australia: WLDLLL


Possible starting lineups

Australia: Ryan; Wilkinson, Davidson, McGowan, Spiranovic; Oar, Jedinak, McKay, Bresciano, Taggart; Leckie

Spain: Reina; Alba, Ramos, Martinez, Juanfran; Koke, Busquets; Fabregas, Mata, Cazorla; Costa

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Spain's coach Vicente Del Bosque attends the Group B football match between Spain and Chile in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 18, 2014
Read Next:
Match Analysis: Spain 0-2 Chile
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