Netherlands vs Spain – Betting tips, match preview and prediction

World Cup BettingNetherlands will play Spain in the first ever World Cup final in South Africa, when two of Europe’s greatest football nations never to win the biggest prize in football, take on each other at Soccer City Stadium on Sunday at 19:30 BST in Johannesburg. Will Spain finally get their breakthrough or will Oranje finally win in their third World Cup final? Read the full match preview and prediction below and find the best betting tips for the World Cup final.

Match Preview

Spain made World Cup history by making their first ever World Cup final after their semi-final win against Germany. Their previous best result was a fourth place back in 1950, but this year they finally made the final and will get a opportunity to wash away their image as one of the football world’s greatest underachievers in major tournaments. At the same time they get a chance to confirm their pre-tournament favorite status and show the world they are the best team in international football.

The Spanish side never looked back after their shocking defeat to Switzerland in their first match. Since then they have won all their games impressively by playing their beautiful passing game to reach the World Cup final. The only thing missing might be a big win, but nevertheless they won their games comfortably by exhausting and demoralizing their opponents. Spain has now won 50 of their last 54 matches and must be considered the favorite tonight in South Africa.

Netherlands have reached the World Cup final two times before in 1974 and 1978. Back then they invented their own brand of football, but even though Total Football was greatly entertaining, it never managed to win the trophy. Today coach Bert van Marwijk have introduced a new Dutch playing style, which may not be as entertaining, but has proved just as effective. Actually it might be even more effective with 25 games unbeaten and a chance to emulate the Brazillian record from 1970, as the first and only team to have a perfect winning record in both the World Cup qualifiers and tournament.

Winning all their previous games at this year’s World Cup is impressive in itself, but the Dutch will face their toughest opponent so far in the tournament tonight and are slight underdogs. For many Dutch players it will be special match as well, as Sneijder, Robben, Huntelaar and van der Vaart all were deemed to be surplus in Real Madrid. However tonight they can show the Spanish side club side made a major mistake and punish Spain in their first ever World Cup final.

Team Updates

The Dutch defence will be strengthened for the final, as suspended right back Gregory van der Wiel and midfielder Nigel de Jong return to the starting line again tonight. Key player Wesley Sneijder has been struggling to become fit, but will likely play regardless of minor problems. Most questionable is Demy de Zeeuw after receiving a kick to the face against Uruguay, which damaged his teeth and makes his playing status unclear.

The Spanish side can pick from a full and fit squad for the final match after the return of Cesc Fabregas, who is thought to be fit again after his leg injury. It is still unknown whether coach Vicente Del Bosque will choose Pedro again or recall Fernando Torres to the starting line tonight.

Netherlands vs Spain betting tip

Our betting pick will be Spain as outright winner at odds 2.10 at 888 Sports.

Remarkably Spain and Netherlands have never met in a major tournament before, despite making their 13th and 9th appearance at the World Cup. The two sides have actually just played each other nine times before in 90 years of football history and have four victories each. Their last encounter was a friendly match in 2002 in Netherland, which ended up with a 1-0 victory for the Dutch.

Essentially the statistical facts are few and quite evenly matched up between the two sides, but should we expect an evenly played match again tonight? The Spanish side has managed to dominate and put high pressure on all their opponents so far, which has worked perfectly in their previous games at the knockout stage. On the other hand the Netherlands have been playing well-organized and used their world class counter-attacks and good passing game to perfection, which has been enough to win all their games so far. However we believe they will have trouble using their normal playing style against Spain tonight, who does not allow opponents to control the ball and put high pressure on opponents quickly after losing the ball. Germany played in a similar way to the Netherlands and never really managed to get in the game against Spain. We believe the same scenario will happen tonight for the Dutch and our match prediction will be 1-0 or 2-1 to Spain.

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