Holland V Spain: Final Betting Odds & Tips Preview – Sunday, 11th July
Holland V Spain Preview
Sunday, 11th July – 19:30 GMT
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
World Cup Final
The Dutch will be making their third appearance in the final of a World Cup on Sunday when they take on the reigning European champions Spain in Johannesburg. The 70’s was a promising decade for the Dutch, who succeeded in getting into two successive World Cup finals (1974 & 1978) only to lose on both occasions to the then hosts. Fortunately for Holland the hosts, South Africa, were sent packing a long time ago and all that’s left is the lowly Spanish… If only. If there was ever a team Holland wished to avoid en route to their first FIFA World Cup title it was Spain, although you could of made a case for Brazil as well but Holland despatched of them in the quarter-final. The Brazilians were a huge scalp for Bert Van Marwijk and if he can add Spain to his collection then the FIFA World Cup Trophy is his and Holland’s to cherish.
With bookmakers generally going 2/1+ on Holland overhauling the Spanish on Sunday to lift the trophy, it pretty much goes without saying the Van Marwijk’s men represent plenty of value considering they’ve scored far more goals than Spain have in this tournament and have arguably faced the tougher of the two routes in that they’ve had to overcome to talented South Americans in Brazil and Uruguay. Holland needed to dig deep against Brazil in the quarter’s and did so magnificently when defying the odds at half-time to come from behind and knock the then tournament favourites out of the competition through a second half brace from Wesley Sneijder. Against Uruguay, Holland need to show their patient side as they didn’t make the killer breakthrough until the 70th minute when once again it was Wesley Sneijder who made the difference, firing the Dutch into a 2-1 lead before Arjen Robben added a third minutes later.
We’ve seen a bit of everything from Holland in this tournament so far, ranging from the untidy and unconvincing to seeing their attacking prowess at full flight. The one characteristic which has remained all the way through has been this winning mentality the Dutch boast having won all six of their matches in South Africa thus far, one more than Spain. There have been times where Holland haven’t looked the business but they’ve always managed to power their through awkward situations. Two players have stood out for me though and they’re Wesley Sneijder, currently on five goals and gunning for the tournament’s Golden Shoe award, and Arjen Robben, who has two goals to his name in just three starts. These two players are of the highest quality and possess the ability to win any match. Sneijder has seemingly found the goal with ease while Robben has the beating of just about every defender, and an on song Sneijder and Robben would see Holland go mighty close to finally ending their World Cup drought.
There’s no doubt Van Marwijk has the necessary forward inventory to unlock the Spanish defence but it’s his own defence he needs to concentrate on, as the Holland back four haven’t been as convincing and sturdy as one would like. For starters there isn’t really a household name in the Dutch back line, with Van Bronckhorst familiar with Arsenal fans but that’s about it. Gregory Van Der Wiel is a very promising full-back and we have every confidence he will make the big money switch in the near future, but the centre-half pairing of Joris Mathijsen and John Heitinga hasn’t always looked harmonious and on the same wave length. They were undone by a simple through ball against Brazil while no-one closed down Diego Forlan for Uruguay’s opener, so there is a cloud of vulnerability hanging over the Dutch defence. It does make you think that Holland will struggle to contain and restrict Spain like the majority have done so far, so it could be another case of Holland needing to explode in the forward third of the field if they are to seal an immaculate tournament with a sensational victory in the grand final.
There will be many a punter cheering on Spain this Sunday as they were the pre-tournament favourites and the team most wanted a piece of. So, bookmakers could be in for a jolly good spanking should the Spanish clinch their first FIFA World Cup title, with StanJames in particular facing a gigantic payout following their promotion to return all outright bets should Spain get to the final on July 11th and reign victorious for the second major tournament in a row. It was only two years ago that Spain claimed sole rights to being Europe’s elite side after winning the 2008 European Championship, but only Germany in 1972 & 1974 has ever completed a European and World Cup double, so do Spain really have what it takes to etch their names into the history books?
A lot like Holland, Spain haven’t been their usual free-scoring selves, while their football hasn’t always been as dreamy as it was two years ago in Germany. Even so, the Spanish have still found a way through each and every single challenge, with the exception being their Swiss flop on match day 1 for them when losing 1-0 to Switzerland. However, that was the wake-up call they needed, a loss which well and truly wiped away any arrogance or cockiness in their system as from then on out it was knock-out football for Spain. Like great champions do, Spain responded in a resolute manner by despatching of every opponent that dared dream of equalling Switzerland’s feat. Honduras and Chile were beaten in the group, but it was their victories over Portugal, Paraguay and Germany which epitomised Spain’s surge for the title so far in that they’ve shown they aren’t afraid to win games in a scruffy, sometimes ugly manner, with a ‘win at all costs’ motto now ringing right through the Spanish camp.
It’s unbelievable to think that only Honduras have been despatched with an air of comfortability, as their victories over Chile, Portugal, Paraguay and Germany have all been by the narrowest of margins while Spain have yet to even surpass one goal in the knock-outs. David Villa’s goals have been so important to their cause, with his five in six games sending him joint-top of the scoring charts and almost single handily guiding Spain to the final, as it was his strikes against Portugal and Paraguay which sealed progression. Against the Germans they needed a bullet header from Carles Puyol, although Spain did actually for once look pretty decent and the ease at which they controlled the midfield and the tempo of the game must have been daunting for the onlooking Dutch. So much so that its the Spanish midfield and superb ball retention which ultimately swung it in Spain’s favour as far as our final vote of confidence, as Spain have this knack of wearing down opponents and then finally seizing the moment later in the game when the opposition are at their weakest physically. It’s probably not even a tactic of Del Bosque’s which makes it even more effective as it all comes natural to the Spanish, this keeping the ball lark.
The title will be won and lost for Spain in the midfield, and if they can retain possession and bid their time as well as they have done in all of their previous knock-out encounters, they’ll be hard to beat. You cannot underestimate for one moment the negative effect not having the ball for large periods of time has on the body, as all that chasing just grinds down a players energy reserves. Because Holland possess some dangerous attacking individuals, it’s so important Spain keep their opponents activities down to a minimum and one way to do that is to keep the ball. So long as Spain have possession, Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt and Van Persie won’t have any joy. While when you have a player in so much form and oozing confidence like David Villa currently is, all it takes is one well-timed passed and Spain are in. Moreover, against an exposed and ever so vulnerable Dutch defence, it’s likely Spain will come across more goalscoring opportunities than in their previous knock-out games against sides with more resolute defences.
Holland V Spain Odds & Betting Tips
Our Prediction (Who will win): Spain to WIN within 90 minutes – 2.20 WilliamHill
If Holland wish to turn this final completely on its head and land us our pre-tournament tip then they’ll need a flawless start. If they begin in the sluggish manner similar to what they started like against Brazil and Uruguay, Holland will struggle as they cannot afford to let Spain sit comfortable on the ball and grow in confidence. It’s easier said than done believe me, but an early strike for the Dutch and Spain would have no choice but to immediately change their approach and instinctively commit more men forward.
For Spain, all they need to do is continue where they left off against Germany. Their ability to keep hold of possession for prolonged periods proved so effective as it took a lot out of Germany for their efforts in trying to chase whoever had the ball. The same will happen to Holland and if they can patiently wait for the gaps to appear, and they will, then as long as the inform David Villa snaps up the chances, Spain will run out victors here we feel.
Recommended Bet: Over 2.5 Goals – 2.50 SkyBet
Current World Cup Final Holland v Spain Odds: