Spain v Holland Odds, Betting Tips and Predictions – World Cup Final
Spain v Holland Betting Odds
It is what nearly two years of preparation have led to, the World Cup Final between Spain and Holland. While the strong Spaniards were expected to be in the finals, there was always an air of mystery about whether Holland would have the right mental fortitude to make it all the way through to the finals. Now, after a very strong showing by the South American nations, the European nations dominated the semi finals, and for Spain, it took a very un-Spanish like goal to see them through to the finals. After neatly playing their wonderful passing game, and taking short corner after short corner against Germany in their semi final match, Spain eventually found a way through with a cross into the box which defender Carles Puyol netted with his head. The move summed up the patience of Spain perfectly. All through the match, against a German side which had shown how ruthless they can be, Spain kept their football on the ball, as resisted the temptation to throw balls into the box from corners, simply because of the height and strength of the German defenders. One switched play however, caught the German defence off guard and Spain were into the finals. It is just reward for the European Champions, who have slowly grown in stature all through their 2010 World Cup campaign.
No, the start was not ideal for them, as they lost their opening match to Switzerland, but it was a result which did not hurt them either. It was a real wake up call for the pre-tournament favourites, and it illustrated to the Spanish, just how patient they were going to have to be in breaking down teams which set up completely defensively in front of them. That same trend has pretty much followed Spain all through their tournament, but what Spain do better than any team in the world, is slowly and patiently chip away at their opposition in order to get that break though. For all of their offensive power in the squad, Spain simply have not been going out and steam-rollering teams. Ever since their last group match win, a 2-1 victory over Chile, Spain have won all of their matches by a single goal, with Barcelona striker David Villa usually being the hero. It has been enough to see the Spaniards through time and time again, and the resolve that has been shown from that surprise opening feat, has probably been the biggest asset to coach Vicente Del Bosque. It is often hard for teams going into tournaments as favourites to live up to expectations, largely down to inflated confidence. But that will have been obliterated in the defeat to the Swiss, and humility can be a great tool for learning. The only way for Spain after that, was forward.
Spain do not change their personnel very much and they certainly do not change the way they play. Even going up against the Germans, who were scoring freely throughout the tournament including putting four past England and Argentina, Spain stuck to the plan which works best for them. They didn’t switch to any kind of defensive mode in order to snuff out the threat from the quick Germans, in fact it was the Germans who paid a lot respect to the Spanish and sat back. Any team which takes on Spain are going to have to cede a lot of possession. That is the Spanish way, keeping the ball and making passes all across the pitch, patiently waiting for that opening. The main orchestrator of this is Xavi, who does a lot of unseen work in comparison to the likes of Villa and Iniesta, but he pulls all of the strings in the middle of the park. If something is happening, then the likelihood is that he was at the origin of the move. Do the Spanish have what it takes to create some history and win the World Cup for the first time in their history? It really does feel like it would be now or never for this wonderful Spanish side. The only way they should be able to not get their hands on the title now, would be to blow it through over confidence and conceitedness. But you feel that any hints of that were wiped out by the defeat by the Swiss. Losing may just have won the World Cup for Spain.
Del Bosque started with Pedro up front instead of out of form Fernando Torres, to many people’s surprise. Pedro was incredibly lively and a lot sharper in all aspects of his play than Torres has shown throughout the tournament. Now Del Bosque has to decide whether to stick with the young Pedro, who squandered an incredible opportunity to make it 2-0 to the Spaniards against Germany, or go with the experience of Torres. The leaning is towards the latter, as experience counts for a great deal in the biggest occasions of world football. But Pedro brought a whole new level of energy to the Spanish side, helping out wonderfully on the right hand side in doubling up with impressive right back Sergio Ramos. Now all Spain have to do, is put on another perfect 90 minutes of football, and even if it is just that one goal from David Villa, or whether Torres pops up with a winner, it is all that Spain will need. For more than just an attacking team, Spain are incredibly hard working off the ball. It may be something again which goes unnoticed, but they are tough to break down. Firstly because it is so hard to get the ball off them and to make breaks, but that have one of the best centre half pairings in the world in Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol. Breaking through there is one of the toughest jobs in football at the moment. Spain will rightly start as favourites to be the new named etched in the World Cup history. It is hard to bet against them.
What can Holland do to stop Spain? Coach Bert Van Marwijk has to take a great deal of credit where many Dutch coaches have failed before. He has not built a particularly spectacular looking side, certainly not of the level of quality of Brazil and Spain in terms of technical ability, but he has perhaps done something more important. He has kept the peace in the Dutch camp, and has united a team which has been infamous for rifts and falling apart under pressure at tournament football. The old Dutch beast threatened to raise its head again during South Africa 2010 when Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie was complaining about being substituted. That blew over pretty quickly, as Van Marwijk played down the incident and was happy to start with Van Persie in the next match. The Arsenal striker was against substituted, but he left the field of play this time with his head quietly hung instead of making a scene. That is perhaps indicative of the mentality that the Dutch have at this tournament. They are together as individuals and that has been the big difference this time around.
Frankly, the Dutch are not as good as the Spanish. That is clear to see in following the action from South Africa 2010, but the Dutch are a solid unit which have been getting the job done. They have needed a lot of luck to get where they are, with Wesley Sneijder getting a lucky goal against Brazil and again in the semi final against Uruguay, which broke the resistance of both teams. While Holland have won all of their games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, they have not played to the high expectation which was expected from them. Their free flowing confident game has been a little subdued, and certainly getting Arjen Robben back from injury was a major boon for them. He, along with Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder is the attacking dimension of the team, and where all of their strengths are. Without them, it is hard to see where the creativity is coming from, and if they are starved of the ball, which they should be against the Spaniards, they will naturally find it hard to make an impact. Without them, the hopes of the Netherlands will rapidly fade, and therefore it will be interesting to see how coach Van Marwijk deals with this problem. Will they simply sit back like Germany did, and look to quickly hit the Spanish on the break. It is something which the Dutch have done in the tournament already, but Spain are so good, not many of those breaks come your way.
All in all, this is Holland’s big day, but their 3-2 victory over Uruguay in the semi finals, showed that they are perhaps a little more vulnerable than the Spanish. The two sides have never met in the World cup finals, and at South Africa 2010, there will definitely be a new name on the trophy. Other records from World Cup history have fallen already, and another one will be the fact that for the first time, a European nation will lift the trophy outside of their own continent. Holland or Spain? Holland will know that they are underdogs, and looking around at World Cup betting tips, everything is leaning towards Spain fulfilling their destiny of being both European and World champions. In order for Holland to get their hands anywhere near the trophy, they will need to tread the thin line between confidence in attack, and displaying a stalwart defence. If they can get a goal early, meaning that they come out and really take the game to the Spaniards in the early stages, then they will have a better chance. Spain will naturally come on to them, and the counter attack may again be the best weapon for the Dutch. They do not have the quality in the midfield that Spain do thought, and that means they must hustle the Spanish players, something the Dutch aren’t great at, and make the most of the opportunities which come their way.
Spain v Holland Betting Tips & Prediction
Prediction (who will win): Spain to win by one goal 13/5 at Bet365
Current World Cup Final Holland v Spain Odds: