Spain now the 4/7 favourites to win their first ever World Cup
Before the start of the World Cup, Spain were no bigger than 7/2 to win the competition and although they have reached Sunday’s final, Vicente Del Bosque’s team certainly haven’t done things the easy way. An opening game defeat by Switzerland saw La Furia Roja drift out to 6/1 on the outright market and it appeared that a potential last sixteen clash with Brazil was on the cards.
However, Spain regained their composure after that early slip-up and now stand on the verge of greatness. It wasn’t until that last sixteen victory over Portugal that the team went shorter than the 7/2 that had been on offer at the beginning of June and they were still quoted at 2/1 before their semi-final against Germany. However, William Hill now offer a best price 4/7 that they become the eighth team to win the World Cup.
It’s been an amazing journey for the Spanish team, who are victims of their own success. Due to the way that they keep possession and try to work openings, it means that the opposition naturally get men behind the ball and go on to the back foot, something that a previously attack-minded Germany were doing on Wednesday night.
It will be interesting to see whether the Netherlands end up employing the same tactics, especially as Arjen Robben is not someone who naturally tracks back to help his team defend. Germany’s success in the World Cup was founded on Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller trotting back to help out the full-backs and the Dutch instead rely on two midfield enforcers by the name of Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.
Nevertheless, Holland were equally as impressive as their opponents when qualifying for the tournament and they have maintained that 100% record in South Africa. The Dutch were on offer at around 12/1 on betfair’s outright market before a series of impressive friendly displays saw their odds cut before they had played a single game. Italy’s failure in Group F led to the Netherlands making the quarter finals reasonably easily, although the game against Brazil saw them trailing at half-time.
At this point in proceedings, you could have backed Holland at around 23/1 on betfair to win the World Cup and there was little in that performance at Port Elizabeth which suggested that the Oranje were potential winners of this tournament. However, you need luck to win any cup competition and the Brazilians were happy to shoot themselves in the foot due to lack of concentration when defending set pieces and ill discipline.
Therefore, Bert van Marwijk’s team are 6/4 (Paddy Power) to triumph at the World Cup for the first time and they will probably watch videos of how Switzerland managed to stop Spain in Durban three weeks ago. Coral offer 11/4 that they follow the blueprint of Ottmar Hitzfeld and win in ninety minutes and they do have three excellent counter-attacking players in Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben.