FIFA World Cup 2014: Baichung prefers Torres over Costa as Spain take on Chile

Aditi Tyagi

Defending champions Spain faced criticism from all corners after they were thrashed by Netherlands in the opening game. As the Iker Casillas-led side face Chile in a a do-or-die match, in an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia analysed the game and also suggested a few changes for Spain`s playing XI.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Would it be right to say that Spain`s dominance in world football will end today?

I don`t think that will happen. Obviously, they had a very poor start to the tournament, they couldn`t play according to their plan but credit must go to Netherlands who displayed brilliant football. They have some excellent players in their squad and despite the pressure of today`s match, they should win it considering the experience they have.

Their performance against Netherlands was pathetic. Do you think they can soak the pressure of the do-or-die match?

They are a big team with world class players and they should live upto it. Their coach would definitely make some changes. In defence especially, there was no coordination between Ramos and Pique and I also think in today`s match, some other player could replace Pique. Upfront I think, their striker Costa hasn`t fully recovered from injury and isn`t 100 percent fit, so another player could replace him as well. On the right hand side I reckon, even David Silva`s place isn`t safe. I believe there should be atleast two changes from the first eleven.

The fans are asking whether the era of tiki-taka football will come to an end today. Tell our viewers something about the tiki-taka football.

I don`t their era will come to an end today. Obviously, now the entire world knows their style of football. They coaches and the players now do their homeworks before playing against Spain. Louis Vaan Gaal is a very experienced coach and even he did his homework. Netherlands had two brilliant strikers in Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben who have the speed and the skills. Chile have just one good player in Sanchez, who will today play against his Barcelona team-mates. Most of the Spanish players are aware of Sanchez`s skills, likewise Sanchez know about their defence. But I don`t think Chile have the forward line up which can match with Netherlands`

As you said, Spanish team is full of superstars like like Iniesta, Pique, Sergio Ramos. But who would you bet for?

For a better show, Spain should make some changes in their upfront. I didn`t find Costa, who has recently recovered from an injury, as very effective on the field. Spain can play Fernando Torres. Even in the midfield, they can replace Silva with Fabregas. In defence, they can replace Pique with Jese Rodriguez. Their tiki-taka football is still fine, but when it comes to scoring goals, I don`t think they have enough strikers.

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