There are plenty of exciting games on the opening weekend of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but none more so than the opening clash in Pool B between Spain and the Netherlands.
These sides met in the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with Spain claiming their maiden World Cup title with an extra time winner, and this Grand Final rematch is set to play a key role in determining, which of these sides will make it through to the second round of the tournament.
This game is sure to be one of the most entertaining and intriguing contests of the pool stages of the tournament and leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au is offering a number of different Spain vs Netherlands betting markets.
How They Will Play
Spain have perfected the Tiki-Taka style of football during their lengthy run as the leading team in international football and they will not be changing their approach for the 2014 Soccer World Cup. The Spaniards will dominate possession for lengthy periods against the Netherlands, but it will be their ability to turn possession into chances that may decide the outcome of this fixture.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque will send Spain out in a 4-3-3 formation, but there is a great deal of fluidity between the different lines of the side. Brazilian born Diego Costa, who had a stellar season for Atletico Madrid, will operate as the centre forward where he will be supported by the creative David Silva and Andres Iniesta, while the evergreen Xavi will pull the strings in the midfield along with Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets.
Defenders Jordi Alba and Dani Carvajal will look to get forward when they are given the opportunity and Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique form a formidable centre defensive partnership. There is simply not a weakness in the Spanish side.
Spain are an extremely patient side and do not look to force a goal, as seen by the number of 1-0 wins that they recorded during qualifying for this tournament, but Del Bosque will look to Manchester City attacker Jesus Navas and veteran striker David Villa if Spain are chasing late goals.
Xavi has been the most important player in each of their three major tournament victories to date and he will need to be at his very best if he is going to lead his country to back-to-back World Cup victories. The Barcelona veteran is a noted big game player and he will be desperate to help Spain get off to a flying start.
How They Will Play
The Netherlands were heavily criticised for the negative football that they played during the 2010 World Cup, but under the leadership of Louis Van Gaal have gone back to a more traditional form of Dutch football. Van Gaal has plenty of options in the midfield and there is still plenty of speculation about which players will take the field for the Netherlands tomorrow morning.
Van Gaal stays loyal to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 formation, but against Spain he may opt to play both Nigel De Jong and Leroy Fer as holding midfielders. Veteran striker Robin Van Persie will be the target man for the Netherlands once again and Arjen Robben will take one of the places on the wing if he is fully fit. De Jong and Fer could be supported in the midfield by former captain Wesley Sneijder in midfield, but Van Gaal may go for a more conservative option against Spain.
While Van Gaal will be taking a cautious approach into this clash, the Dutch backline of Bruno Martins Indi, Ron Vlaar, Darly Janmaat and Daley Blind will be encouraged to press forward while defending and will play fairly high up the pitch in attempt to shut down both Iniesta and Pedro. Netherlands conceded just five goals during their qualifying campaign and it would be a surprise to see Spain completely breakdown their defense.
This will not be a complete rematch of the 2010 final between these two sides, with Van Gaal’s side unlikely to play as physically as they did in that clash, but a similar result looks like the most likely result. Spain have a recent history of turning up on a big occasion, with the exception of their Confederations Cup final loss to Brazil, and they should be able to start their title defense with three points.
However, the Dutch squad are no pushovers and if they can capitalize on any chances that they create are a genuine chance of scoring a surprise result.
Spain vs Netherlands World Cup Betting Plays
Spain are clear favourites to win this game at 2014 World Cup odds of $1.73 at Ladbrokes.com.au and although they should win this game that price does not represent good value. The $5 on offer for Netherlands to score an upset win is well worth a small play as there is not that much between these sides as there odds suggest.
Probably the best value bet for this fixture is in the Correct score betting market; with the $5.50 on offer for Spain to win 1-0 fanstic valye.
World Cup Betting Promotions
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au is offering a range of different 2014 World Cup betting promotions and new customers that sign-up and deposit will receive a free bet worth up to $250 that can be used to back the winner of any World Cup game.