Here is another Netherlands vs Spain World Cup Finals Prediction article, which is written by Will. He has been spot on all tournament long, enjoy the article!
As the saying goes, always the bridesmaid, and never the bride. The old adage directly applies to the soccer futures of both the Netherlands and Spain as they approach their all-important wedding day in Sunday’s World Cup final.
Both countries possess world-class talents, with an abundance of resources seemingly churning out top players at a constant rate. The domestic leagues in both Spain and the Netherlands are two of the top competitions in the world, yet when it comes to the international stage, both countries have failed to live up to the expectations.
For whatever the case, the legends of years past hailing from both countries have been left deprived of glory on a global setting. However, South Africa 2010 represents an opportunity to avenge all of the previous failures these countries have been accustomed to.
The World Cup final is a remarkable event. Undoubtedly the most watched sporting event in the world, and this time around it will pit two explosive offenses in what promises to be a back-and-forth, high scoring clash between two legendary soccer programs.
The Spaniards have had to overcome adversity ever since they began tournament action with a stunning loss to Switzerland. Although they have yet to lose since, no team has captured the World Cup having been defeated in their opening fixture. La Furia Roja were the odds-on favourites to be deemed victorious in South Africa, yet they still have yet to play to their world-class abilities.
The Netherlands have rolled right through every opponent in their way at this year’s World Cup. What commenced amid a wave of uncertainty, has morphed into a powerhouse lineup that successfully recovered from its plethora of injuries. Throughout the competition, the Netherlands has handled adversity with aplomb, and their defeat of the world’s best side in Brazil has the side brimming with the necessary confidence to knock off another strong squad in Spain.
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Netherlands vs Spain Odds:
Keys to the Game:
For a match of such magnitude, motivation and fitness will not be an issue. Both sides will be raring to go, and despite an abnormally long season, every player will surely provide their supreme efforts for the final ninety minutes of their soccer season.
Spain enters this match fresh off a stifling performance against a powerful German side. The Germans managed four goals against both England, and Argentina, yet were shut out by an impressive Spanish performance. Spain will again look to continue their trend of improving as the tournament progresses, and remain hopeful that their form will be enough for their first ever World Cup trophy.
The Spaniards will likely still be without the services of key defender Raul Albiol, who has yet to recover from a fibula injury. Aside from the absence of Albiol, head coach Vicente del Bosque will not have any other injury concerns to contend with. That said, the question on the minds of Spanish football fans everywhere will be the uncertain status of star forward Fernando Torres.
Torres is a dynamic talent, and when in form is undoubtedly one of the most prolific strikers of his generation. Although, the one known as “El Nino” entered South Africa battling a series of injuries, and has been quite irrelevant throughout this year’s World Cup. Against the Germans, del Bosque replaced the forward with feisty wing player Pedro, in a move that largely contributed to the success of Spain. Pedro was all over the pitch against Germany, and played a key role in containing the skill and creativity of the German midfielders. If del Bosque continues with the same lineup against the Netherlands, Pedro must continue to exude his fearless style in order to make the fans of Spain forget all about “El Nino.”
Like their Spanish adversaries, the Netherlands enter the World Cup final in relatively good health as well. Coach Bert van Marwijk’s concerns pertaining to the health of keeper Maarten Stekelenburg have been alleviated, and the bench boss will have the full complement of Dutch talents at his disposal against Spain.
The Dutch will also be buoyed by the reinsertions to the lineup of both holding midfielder Nigel de Jong, and star defender Gregory van der Wiel. The two were sorely missed against Uruguay, as the Oranje gave up far too many opportunities for their liking. With van der Wiel, and de Jong back into the lineup, it will be tough for the creative Spanish midfield to effectively distribute the ball to the World Cup’s best player thus far, striker David Villa.
Another imperative factor in the Dutch claiming glory will be de Jong’s partner in the centre of the pitch, Mark van Bommel. Together the two must obtain possession of the ball for their skilled players, and not allow Spain to control the majority of the play. When the Spaniards dominate possession, the statistics have indicated that they will dominate the game. Both van Bommel, and Nigel de Jong must impede the tactics of the Spaniards playing a simple game of keep-away for the duration of the match.
What to Expect:
Like the majority of World Cup final matches, I expect this to be a widly entertaining clash between two sides that have no difficulty scoring goals. A clash that will feature the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, David Villa, Fernando Torres, and Andres Iniesta surely indicates the offensive forays will be endless.
That said, it is important to account for the psychological mindsets of both sides and countries entering the match. The Netherlands and Spain have long been considered underachievers on the international stage. Both programs remain desperate for their first taste of international glory, and supreme bragging rights for the next four years.
Thus far in South Africa, the Dutch have appeared to be unbeatable. Even in their opening group matches, they routed their counterparts without their top player in Arjen Robben. This is an explosive group that can score in bunches, but whether or not this side can bulge the twine against a staunch Spanish defensive group remains to be seen.
Spain will look to control the match and play the game at their own pace. They will be supremely focused in preventing the offensive advances of the Oranje, while cautiously taking their chances in the attacking third of the pitch.
In the end I see this being a tight, hard-fought affair all over the field. Despite the abundance in goal-scoring prowess up and down both lineups, expect a low-scoring tilt comprised of hard challenges and mistake-free football.
Questions have circulated about Spain’s reaction to adversity. Many within the soccer community think La Furia Roja would collapse if they went a goal down. This time around, expect the Spaniards to confront the demons of years past and capture their first ever World Cup title. Look for the Spanish to go down early off of a quick strike goal from the Dutch, yet rebound in the latter stages of the match. Vicente del Bosque will have no choice but to put on the Spanish icon in Fernando Torres.
And in symbolic fashion, it will be the largely anonymous figure who will emerge as the face of the 2010 World Cup when Torres substitutes onto the pitch and ties the match late in the game.
Expect the Spaniards to ride the momentum off of this late boost, and capitalize on a thrilling display of penalty kicks to culminate a wildly entertaining South African World Cup competition.
Spain vs Netherlands Prediction: Spain 2 – Netherlands 1 (Spain Wins On Penalties)
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