We will have a first time World Cup champion this year. Neither Spain nor the Netherlands have hoisted the trophy in their nations’ history, but one of them will change that Sunday. We will also see a European team win the World Cup outside of Europe for the first time.
Spain has shown its resiliency and ability to control the game, and the side has won every game since its shocking loss to Switzerland in the first match. The Netherlands streak is even better. Not only have they won every match at the final tournament in South Africa; they also beat every single opponent in the qualification stage.
The Dutch side has looked dominant at times, but also has shown some weaknesses. They have one of the tournament’s two top-scorers on their side in Wesley Sneijder. The 26-year-old has five goals in South Africa, and is looking to add more.
The midfielder has been able to lead the team into the attack and has shown his finishing touch as well. Sneijder has 19 goals in 67 caps for his national team. He has been the most dangerous payer on a strong Dutch side.
Sneijder shares the lead in the goal department with Spanish forward David Villa. The 28-year-old was shut down in the semifinal match against Germany, but has shown how dangerous he is by scoring five times in the tournament.
Villa has replaced Fernando Torres as the most effective Spanish attacker, and is looking to add to his goal total Sunday. The striker has shown that he is accurate with his passing as well, completing nearly 150 passes in the tournament.
The duel between Sneijder and Villa for the “Golden Boot”, the trophy awarded to the tournament’s top scorer, will be one of several interesting subplots to follow in Sunday’s match. It will also be interesting to see how the two teams match up tactically.
Both sides are known for their offensive style, with the Spanish being focus mostly on ball control and short passes. They almost walk the ball into the opponents score and mainly score from inside the box.
While the Dutch have shown that they can be successful with short passes as well, they mostly look for the deadly long ball. They are also very dangerous on long shots from outside the penalty box.
Both teams have had some struggles on defense and allowed easy goals and good looks for opposing attackers. While the players might come out trying not to make a mistake and playing passively to start out with, we could see a high scoring game, if one of the sides scores early.
Spain goes into the match as the favorite, and I think they have a great shot Sunday. They are 42-2-10 in the last 54 matches and they look slightly better than the Dutch side. However, the Netherlands haven’t lost at the World Cup and they are capable of beating the Spanish.
The odds seem a little too much in favor of the Spanish, so while a Netherlands win isn’t a lock, I think a bet on the Dutch offers great value.
A $100 bet on Holland to win in regulation will get you $277 at 5Dimes if the Dutch come through in 90 minutes. And even a bet on the Netherlands to win, no matter if they need overtime or even penalties, is worth a look at +153.