World Cup, June 13: How to watch Spain v. Netherlands, Ron Vlaar, an open thread and more!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

You're interested in the World Cup. You're interested in Aston Villa. Well, you've come to the right place - only on 7500 to Holte will you find pre-match updates tailored to your Villa needs.*

*Although I admit, I haven't checked every single Villa website in existence. Or, quite frankly, many of them.

Yesterday, we thought we were being eased into the tournament, what with their being just one match and all. Instead we got an own goal, a couple very controversial refereeing decisions, and speculation about the lengths FIFA are willing to go to in order to appease the people of Brazil. Things are bound to be even better tonight!

So stick around and have a chat. Use this as your sanctuary if you're unable to get to the pub. Drop by and discuss all things Villa if the action on the field is getting a little dull.

The matches

Group Location Time (BST)
Mexico vs. Cameroon A Estádio das Dunas, Natal 5 p.m.
Spain vs. Netherlands A Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador 8 p.m.
Chile vs. Australia B Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá 11 p.m.


Any Villa players involved?

Ron Vlaar! Ron Vlaar! Ron Vlaar!

The defender is Aston Villa's only World Cup starter (at least, we assume he is) (unless Tim Howard comes down with food poisoning) and you'll be able to catch him in Friday's marquee match, when Holland take on Spain.

Netherlands' defense is slightly suspect, and it's Vlaar's experience at the back that could make or break their World Cup dreams. His likely partners at the back are between 22 and 24 years of age and all play in the Eredivisie - not exactly a league renowned for its defensive solidity. It'll be Vlaar that's in charge of commanding the defense, ensuring they're as controlled and composed as it's possible to be when faced with Spain's tiki-taka.

And goodness knows Vlaar has experience marshalling a bunch of young yokels blundering around masquerading as a defensive line.

Check out our more detailed view of Vlaar.

Any transfer targets or rival players I'm probably interested in?

Depends on how big your dreams are. There've been vague murmurings about bringing in Javier Hernández from Manchester United, but with the way Villa are going, it's more likely they'll sign Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o on a free.

Mile Jedinak captains Australia, but it's almost certain Crystal Palace know just how vital he is to their side, and aren't letting him go anywhere. Gary Medel just got relegated with Cardiff City, but really, it's not defensive midfielders that Villa need to be concentrating on.

Netherlands' age and lack of Premier League experience would put them right up Paul Lambert's alley, but that was back when the club were willing to shell out a million pounds. Still, Bruno Martins Indi or Daley Blind at left-back wouldn't go amiss.

Oh, and Chile's Alexis Sánchez just might be on his way out of Barcelona, so Villa should definitely be in the mix there.

How do I watch these games?

In the UK you can watch  ITV or use the ITV player online. In the US it's ESPN in English and Univision in Spanish, and both have online streaming platforms, while our Canadian friends have CBC and the CBC Sports player. If you live elsewhere, check LiveSoccerTV for listings in your country.

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