Football World Cup 2014: Too early to call Netherlands favourites, feels Baichung

Aditi Tyagi

The Netherlands team stunned defending champions Spain in the first match of FIFA World Cup 2014, where Spain were thrashed 5-1. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said that despite their good run, it would be too early to call them favourites.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Would it be right to say that the way Netherlands started off the campaign, the expectations are a lot more from them now?

Nobody had expected Netherlands to defeat Spain 5-1. It was expected to be a tough match and like several other experts, I too thought that Spain will manage to pull it off. But Holland played brilliantly and they showed the world what they are capable of. But it would be too early to rate Netherlands as the best team of the tournament, or the favourites. They shouldn`t face much trouble against Australia, as the latter is a team which isn`t in form. Out of all the teams, Australia are ranked the lowest. Netherlands should win the match.

Do you think both Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie will dominate in today`s game?

Both are world class strikers and Holland will depend a lot on these two for progressing in the tournament. Arjen Robben plays a lot like Messi. Both are left-footed, both are fast and wanted to dribble against the defenders. Persie is a striker who creates opportunities on his own and scores the goals.

What are your predictions for today`s matches?

In the first match I guess Holland should win. In the second match, if Spain fail to win, it would be too disappointing to see the defending champions being knocked out so early in the tournament. But I guess that won`t happen. Chile and Spain play similar kind of football. So with their experience, Spain should win against Chile.

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