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Netherlands - Spain World Cup Finals
Odds - Prediction - Analysis
July 11th, 2010
Although the Netherlands has been to the final twice in the 1970's, neither team has yet to ever claim the World Cup. Both teams have looked amazing this tournament in their respective styles, but this final will be all about which team can bring their best game yet to the pitch. Spain has the best player of the World Cup on their side, David Villa. He has scored many goals and will be a huge threat. The Netherlands have knocked off several top class opponents and it seems they won't be intimidated by anyone. Don't expect that to start here.
Spain completely locked down a potent German team in the semi-finals, controlling the ball for nearly the entire game. Netherlands on the other hand, bring a talented striking offense. In their semi final win against Uruguay, all 3 of their goals hit off the post, banking into the net. Spain seems to have solved their issues with replacing forward Fernando Torres, without him in the game they appeared to have a more concentrated focus as a team. The Netherlands have remained relatively injury and penalty free thus far this tournament, not having to really worry about shaking up their line up much.
Now that each team has played 6 games, statistical trends are becoming stronger indicators of each teams respective strength. Spain plays a very controlled style of football, completing an incredible 81% of their passes. The Netherlands are no slouches in this category themselves with 72%, but this is significantly lower than Spain.
Germany Boasted a 74% pass completing rate and they had real problems creating offensive flow against Spain. A big statistical advantage for The Netherlands is their 12 to 7 total goal advantage. This is no surprise though, Spain's style dictates lower scoring close matches. Another edge the Netherlands hold is shot accuracy with a 51.3% to 38.8% advantage. The key to this game for the underdog Netherlands will to be to get a surprise first goal and send Spain reeling. If Spain happens to get the first goal, it will be extremely difficult for the Netherlands to breakdown the Spanish passing efficiency that will drain the clock.
Wagering odds for this match have Spain as the favorite. The point spread for the match has held at 0 with Spain drawing the -200 favorite putting the Netherlands at +150. In 3-way pools Spain brings +110 for a win while the Netherlands brings +240 payout, leaving a +240 price for a draw. (Odds courtesy of Bodog.com) Considering the slight overall Statistical edge for the Netherlands +240 has value. However, Spain looks very cohesive as a team and they are going to be extremely tough to beat. For the Netherlands to win a fortunate strike on the goal is going to have to come from long range and freeze the Spanish goalkeeper.
If Spain is going to win they will have to stick to their usual style of play. They need to pass the ball well and not try and do too much. Villa is their man and they will need him to step up. The Netherlands has to try and score quickly and make Spain play from behind.
Also, Midfielder Wesley Snjeider and Forward David Villa are tied at 5 goals apiece for the tournament and the golden boot is up for grabs this match. It will be very interesting to watch these two vie for that eclipsing goal. The biggest match of both these teams histories is to be held in Johannesburg where the weather is forecasted to be clear and 52 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff. This game can be seen on ABC with pre-game coverage starting at 1:30 pm and the game kicking off at 2:30 pm eastern. Congratulations to whichever team hoists the Cup this Sunday afternoon.