(Winner Group E)
(Winner Group H)
After 63 matches, the 2010 World Cup comes down to this! The champions of the world will be named on Sunday afternoon at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, as Holland faces Spain in World Cup betting action.
For the Dutch, the road to reach the World Cup Final wasn’t exactly a stressful one. Should they win this match in 90 minutes, they’ll become the second team since 2002 to win the World Cup without needing extra time to still win all seven fixtures. Offensively speaking, Holland has been fantastic all tournament long, consistently finding ways to hit the back of the net. F Wesley Sneijder has been the king of that, scoring five times for La Oranje. His strike in the 70th minute against Uruguay in the semifinals moved him into a tie for the lead in the Golden Boot chase and also assured that his team would get through to the finale for the first time in the country’s history. Finding the back of the Dutch goal has suddenly become a regularity for opposing countries. After holding ten teams in qualifying to a total of just two goals and having clean sheets in each of their first two matches here in South Africa, the Flying Dutchmen have allowed five goals in the L/4 games. However, they have only trailed once in this tournament, that being at 1-0 against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Spain will be playing in its first ever World Cup Final on Sunday as well. La Roja have gotten to this point in the tournament thanks to two superstars: GK Iker Casillas and F David Villa. Villa is tied for the scoring lead in this tournament with five goals. Barring tremendous play from either Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose, or Diego Forlan in the third place game, either Villa or Sneijder will win the Golden Boot for 2010. Casillas has been a true warrior between the pipes for his country, proving that he is one of the best keepers in the world. Just as Italy’s GK Gianluigi Buffon brought the Italians to the World Cup championship four years ago by allowing just two goals, Casillas is a clean sheet away from duplicating that task. His only two strikes allowed were to Switzerland and Chile in the group stage. He has yet to be beaten in the knockout rounds. In fact, that Spanish only have three goals in the elimination rounds as well. Two of those three were scored by Villa, but the hero in the semifinals was D Carles Pujol, who scored off of a corner kick in the second half. All three first halves have been scoreless in the knockout rounds for Spain, while it won each second half 1-0.
Expect more of the same from Espana here in the finale on Sunday. The Spanish are just too strong defensively to crack, and though this should be a fantastic match, ultimately at some point, whether it be in 90 minutes, 120 minutes, or in penalties, they will be the victors of the World Cup.
Selection: Spain to Win 2010 World Cup -175