Spain V Switzerland Preview: Wednesday, 16th June (Group H)

15th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

 

Spain V Switzerland Preview

Kick-off: Wednesday, 16th June – 15:00 GMT
Stadium: Moses Madhiba Stadium, Durban
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Group H

 

Spain

The Spanish have been installed as favourites to clinch their first FIFA World Cup in South Africa, with Brazil hot on their tails, and Wednesday will be when Vicente Del Bosque’s charges will get to express themselves on the big stage in a game they should win at a cantor, in a group they should stroll through. Switzerland are their first of three opponents in a feeble Group H, so will La Furia lay down a marker in just their first outing or will this air of expectancy cause havoc within the Spanish ranks.

It was only a year ago that the Spanish were falling apart at the seams to the United States, as their 35 game unbeaten run came crashing to an abrupt end in the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa  – The FIFA World Cup prep tournament. If that was a taster of things to come then Spain should cruise through their group, scoring plenty of goals and looking more for the world like they will win the prize on offer before crumbling, as they’re so used to doing in previous World  Cup’s, in the knock-outs. Back then it was USA who dashed their hopes, in South Africa it could very well be the Brazilians if Spain or Brazil fail to top their groups.

Spain will fancy their chances against any country, and rightly so, as Vicente Del Bosque has an embarrassment of riches and the Spanish are unquestionably the strongest 23-man party in South Africa. However, they have been known to come a cropper in the pressurized situations, at least they did have a reputation for such an act before the EURO’s in 2008. Spain displayed their world-beating potential two years ago when claiming the European crown and the Spanish faithful are praying their World Cup voodoo, with Spain having never even made the final of a World Cup before, have been banished with their euphoric 2008 success.

While Group H is incredible weak, with Spain the obvious highlight, the importance of finishing top of the pile couldn’t be any more significant what with Brazil occupying a group right next door. The only downside to this group, one Spain should finish top of without a question asked, is the winner will face a tricky Round of 16 clash no matter what, with Ivory Coast of Portugal likely to be Spain’s first knock-out opponent. As daunting as both may seem, Spain will fancy their chances against both of those country’s, far more than they would against the irrepressible Brazilians that’s for sure. So a good start is crucial for Spain, not only to ensure they make the best possible start in their quest to finish top of Group H but to build up some momentum ahead of a testing Round of 16 clash with the runners-up in Group G.

Injury News: Fernando Torres has already been back in action following his appearance in a friendly with Poland just days before the finals, even getting on the scoresheet. Cesc Fabregas is another who has recovered in time, although Andres Iniesta is facing a race against time to be fit for the Swiss opener.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss have never been an over extravagant bunch in all honesty, usually efficient but rarely an overwhelming force. And with a German coach in charge of guiding Switzerland into the knock-outs for the third successive World Cup the country has competed in (1994 & 2006), they’ll rate their chances a little higher than usual.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, formerly of Bayern Munich, where he won the UEFA Champions League on one occasion and the German league title on five, had a hand in Switzerland finishing top of Group 2 in the European sector above Greece, Latvia and Israel. It was an ordinary group by anyone’s standards, but it was fiercely competitive nonetheless and the Swiss deserve a great deal of credit for their qualifying success, as it was the first time since the 60’s Switzerland had pulled off back-to-back World Cup qualifications.

High profile names are few and far between in the Swiss ranks but one name that stands out above most is that of forward Alexander Frei, whom is the country’s all-time leading goalscorer with 40 goals in just 74 internationals, but the FC Basel striker will not play any part in his country’s Group H opener through injury. Another to miss out on an appealing encounter with Spain is West Ham’s Valon Behrami, with the two notable absentee’s leaving Hitzfeld with two huge voids to fill. And for a country where stars are hard to come by, you would be forgiven for having reservations and doubts over their respective replacements.

Switzerland certainly won’t look to take the game to Spain, with the aim throughout being to reduce the amount of space available for the forward players to run into and to remain resolute at the back. Levels of concentration must be sky-high at all times and the communication in defence needs to be spot, as this looks very much like it could pan out into a ‘man the pumps’ mission for the Swiss as a point against the tournament favourites would set them up nicely heading into two far less daunting Group H fixtures with Honduras and Chile.

 

World Cup Preview – Spain V Switzerland Betting Tips

Match Odds:

Spain – 1.29 WilliamHill
Draw – 5.50 Bet365
Switzerland – 15.00 VCbet

 

Our Prediction: Spain to WIN – 1.29 WilliamHill

Spain’s odds to win are too low, too low to really be taking seriously, but we don’t really envisage Switzerland repelling the Spanish bombardment for the full 90 minutes. We do have some faith in the Swiss keeping the scoring to a minimum, with perhaps a low scoring win on the cards for Spain. But in Spain you have so many match winners, a whole host of players ranging right back to the defenders who can pop up with a vital goal at any stage. At this stage, against this calibre of opponent, it’s almost impossible to oppose the tournament favourites, the 2008 European champions.

 

Our Recommended Bet: Under 2.5 Goals – 2.00 Boylesports

So far it has been a tournament where the big guns have been very reserved, too scared to lose in many respects, with their opening game and although Spain do have a whole host of quality players, none more so than their forward duo of Villa & Torres, the Swiss won’t leave too many gaps at the back and when they get everything in order, can be resilient in defence. Considering Switzerland don’t look likely of scoring in this contest, this could be a narrow Spanish victory unless the team in red break the deadlock early.




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