Officially now in their World Cup groove after defeating Honduras, European Champions Spain face Chile in a game which will go along away to proving whether Spain can live up to their pre-tournament billing. Chile have performed well in their two games to this point, achieving 1-0 wins over both Switzerland and Honduras. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have taken to South Africa 2010 with an attractive playing style but will be severely tested for the first time in the tournament against favorites Spain when the two teams meet at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria for their final Group H game.
Chile have been lauded for their attacking intent in the first two group games. But after taking 30 shots and only scoring two goals to this point, they will need to improve their efficiency in front of goal for this encounter against a confident Spain team. Chile just need to draw this game to finish the top of the group and avoid a possible meeting with Group G leaders Brazil.
$250 in Free Bets for the World Cup! Click The Banner Below
Spain vs Chile Odds:
Alexis Sanchez has caught the eye with his skill on the ball in tight situations and acceleration when faced with strong opponents. In midfield, the tricky Jorge Valdivia has provided the creative outlet. The left-footed winger has presented numerous opportunities for his strikers who have thus far been profligate in front of goal.
The best approach for Chile will involve making sure that Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia are presented the ball quickly in counter-attacking situations, as they’ve both shown in the previous two games that they have the skill and initiative to handle the big game pressure and deliver for the team. Humberto Suazo, who was excellent for Chile in qualifying, looked unfit against Switzerland and will likely be left out of this one as Marcelo Bielsa needs his entire eleven at the top of their form if they’re to get a result against the European Champions.
Their defeat against Switzerland might have been the best thing that could have happened to a Spanish team that otherwise could have started to believe their own pre- tournament hype. With France already on the plane home from South Africa and World Cup holders Italy booking their ticket home early too, Spain Coach Vicente Del Bosque will have drilled into his players the importance of taking the opposition seriously in these early stages of the competition.
Chile will not make it easy for Spain to play their quick passing game, and forwards David Villa and Fernando Torres will need the ball played to them over the top of this quick Chilean defense, as any balls to feet will be dealt with swiftly by Bielsa’s well-drilled defensive unit. Expect to see less attacking runs from full backs Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevila, as they will be trying to stop the marauding Alexis Sanchez and Matias Fernandez exerting their control on the game from their preferred starting positions coming in from the wings.
Fernando Torres looked sluggish against Honduras when, had he been in better form, he could have helped himself to two goals. But with one more game now under his belt, even a recovering Torres combined an explosive David Villa will likely to prove too much to handle for a thus far untested Chilean defense.
Goals are expected in this game as these two teams don’t have the defensive capacity in the center of midfield to close the game down. Chile are capable of a surprise victory with the in-form Alexis Sanchez taking on a very penetrable Spanish defense. But don’t expect too much of a Chilean midfield who are going to have major problems dealing with movement of David Silva and the passing and positional play of Xavi.
Spain vs Chile Prediction: Spain 3 – 2 Chile.
Did you know you can Bet World Cup 2010 Online?