Australia vs. Spain: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview

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Australia vs. Spain: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

A dead rubber between Spain and Australia may not have been the outcome most fans were expecting at this stage of the competition in what's become a low-risk affair between the two.

However, this is nevertheless the World Cup we're talking about, and Brazil's tournament has the ability to yet shape this match into something special, even if there rests nothing on the line.

Spain will seek to claim their first points of the tournament after most disappointing outings against the Netherlands and Chile, while the Socceroos would be more than happy to claim a monumental scalp in Monday's meeting.

 

Date: Monday, June 23

Time: 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK), ESPN Player (U.S., subscription required)

TV Info: ITV (UK), ESPN 2 (U.S.)

 

Key Players to Watch

Australia: Mile Jedinak

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Mile Jedinak is part of a small contingent in the Socceroos squad currently playing their football in one of Europe's elite divisions, and the Crystal Palace anchor has lived up to responsibilities well in Brazil.

Despite Australia's failure to claim a point thus far, Jedinak has competed well on the individual level, and WhoScored.com shows that he got the better of Netherlands counterpart Nigel de Jong in most aspects of their encounter last week:

With Diego Costa failing to click as Spain's attacking focal point, it's Vicente del Bosque's midfield that will be expected to deal the damage against Australia, and Jedinak will have a mountainous task in limiting the creative nuances of Spain's playmaking roster.

 

Spain: Xabi Alonso

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Following his announcement of retirement from international football after this World Cup, per the Independent's Tom Sheen, Xabi Alonso will look to Monday's fixture as his Spanish send-off.

It's possible that Del Bosque could leave the veteran out in favour of fielding alternative talent in the middle of the park, though, with ESPN's Miguel Delaney commenting on the apparent personal rifts that Alonso has within the Spain squad:

At his best, Alonso is one of the most revered central midfielders in the world, but he showed in the 2-0 loss to Chile just what a liability he can be at times and will want to mark his final World Cup display with more of the former than the latter. 

 

Key Battle

Mark Bresciano vs. Koke

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

One of those who could come in for Alonso should he not feature as part of the starting XI is Atletico Madrid's Koke, whom many might see as a long-term replacement in the squad, albeit more energetic in his attacking aspects.

And like Alonso, there lies a counterpart in the Socceroos squad not likely to play in another World Cup, with Mark Bresciano now 34 years of age and possibly eyeing up retirement.

Although the Chilean defeat was a huge disappointment for La Furia Roja, FourFourTwo Stats Zone shows just what an influence Koke made in 45 minutes last time out:

Bresciano will play alongside Jedinak in trying to stop the construction that Koke so often brings to the pitch, and considering how much time Australia are likely to spend playing without the ball, the seasoned anchor is primed for a long day's work.

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