SPAIN vs. NETHERLANDS
FRIDAY 13TH JUNE – SALVADOR
In a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final, defending champions Spain face The Netherlands in Salvador.
The Dutch’s strengths are going forward while at the back they are atrocious. Although they went through qualifying undefeated under Louis van Gaal, they never faced a test as strong as Spain. In particular, goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is very inexperience in club football never mind internationals. The 25-year-old Ajax stopper has only made 29 appearances in total for the Amsterdammers and may find the World Cup too big of a stage. In defence, Feyenoord’s Stefan de Vrij and Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar can be seen as the weak links and it will be the job of Bruno Martins Indi, Daryl Janmaat (both Feyenoord) and Ajax’s Daley Blind to protect them. However, with an attacking force of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie goals can be scored against any defence.
Spain, although now are starting to age, are still strong and currently 13/2 to win the tournament with bet365. The massive question over this opening game is the fitness of Diego Costa. After, lasting just nine minutes of the Champions League final last month, the new Chelsea striker suffered a hamstring problem but reports tell that he will be risked in this match. La Roja may need to look to the midfield for goals and with David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andreas Iniesta waiting to pull their triggers, goals will come.
Knowing this, Van Gaal is renowned for his shrewd tactics and has a clear plan in mind to limit the space for the creative players in this game, which could lead to a less open match. Vicente del Bosque will order his men to control possession and be patient in their attempts to wear down in what should be an organised Oranje eleven.
We have looked at this being goal-less at half-time with Spain finding a breakthrough in the second-half. Draw at the break with Spain winning is valued at 18/5 at Bet Victor and this is our best bet in this one.
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