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World Cup Day Seven: Spain v. Chile

Before the World Cup, it looked a match between Group B frontrunners. Now, for Spain at least, a loss would mark an ignominious end to six years of international dominance.

Cameron Spencer
SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

Spain v. Chile
Wednesday, June 18th | 8PM BST/3PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule

Group B

It had to end sooner or later for Spain. But nobody thought it would end this summer, with the defending World Cup champions unanimous picks to finish first in a tough Group B. And perhaps it hasn't ended. Spain lost the opener at the last World Cup, albeit in far less humiliating fashion and while outplaying their opponents on the day. Still, the 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Dutch could be a fluke, a one-off, a very bad day they'll bounce back from on the way to a successful title defence. Or it could be that Iker Casillas has declined too far and their overworked, aging midfield is exhausted and their manager is out of ideas.

If Spain look to be on the decline, Chile look to be on the rise. A stubborn Australia held them to a 3-1 victory in the opener, but at times they looked the frantic, talented side that excited anyone who saw them over the past few years in CONMEBOL's World Cup qualification mini-tournament. Arturo Vidal should be sharper in his second game back from injury, and after impressing in the opener, rumoured Liverpool target Alexis Sanchez will get another chance to shine against many of his Barcelona teammates on the Spanish side.

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