Game:- Netherlands vs Spain
Competition :- 2010 FIFA World Cup
Venue :- Soccer City, Johannesberg
Date :- Sunday, 11th July 2010
KO time:- 20.30 South African time
Paul the Octopus, has predicted Spain to lift the 2010 FIFA World Cup but it really does not take psychic powers to realise that del Bosque’s close knit outfit will have the upper edge against Netherlands. Whatever may be the result, the World Cup will have a first time winner at Soccer City. Will van Marwijk’s tactical nous deflate Spain’s attack ? Read our preview and head over to PinnacleSports to place your bet!
Netherlands form- last five games- most recent first
Netherlands 3-2 Uruguay (van Bronckhost, Sneijder, Robben)
Netherlands 2-1 Brazil (Melo OG, Sneijder)
Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia (Robben, Sneijder)
Cameroon 1-2 Netherlands ( Robin Van Persie, Klaas Jan Huntelaar)
Netherlands 1-0 Japan ( Wesley Sneijder)
The Dutch come into the game on the back of a 25 game unbeaten run – their first final since 1978. They have scored 12 goals en route to the finals – five more than their opponents. Nigel de Jong and Gregory van der Wiel will be back into the starting lineup replacing Demy de Zeeuw and Khalid Boulahrouz respectively. Arjen Robben’s pace on the wings could pose problems for the ageing Capdevilla. Sneijder and van Persie will partner Robben in attack. The Dutch have a rich array of talent on the bench – including the likes of van Der Vaart, Elia, Huntelaar and Afellay.
Spain – last few games – most recent game on top
v.Germany – Win 1-0 (Puyol)
v.Paraguay – Win 1-0 (Villa)
v.Portugal – Win 1-0 (Villa)
v.Chile – Win 2-1 (Villa, Iniesta)
v.Honduras – Win 2-0 (Villa*2)
Spain are white-hot favourites to win the tournament. La Furia Roja have completed most number of passes in the tournament and the Dutch might as well experience “death by a thousand passes”. Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has pleaded the coach to grant him a starting spot. Pedro started for Spain in the semi-final and was impressive. Star names like Torres and Fabregas might have to settle for a place on the bench. Villa will lead the line – looking for the goal that would make him the Golden Boot winner. Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta and Xavi will play in midfield.
Verdict: Netherlands 1-2 Spain (Robben / Villa, Pedro)