One of the most eagerly anticipated group-stage
games takes place in Salvador as the two teams who
met in the World Cup final in Johannesburg four years
ago face off again
Spain may well be the defending world and double European
champions but they do not feature at the front of the
outright market for this summer's World Cup.
That may well be down to the percieved weakness of
teams from outside South America when playing on the
continent, a tricky group draw and a so-called fading of the
golden generation which has seen Spain establish
themselves as the team to beat in world football.
In La Roja's first group game they will square off against
Netherlands, the team whom they beat in extra time back in
2010 to secure their first World Cup trophy, and Paddy
Power are offering new customers the choice of two great
Spain are available at 17/20 (1.85) to collect three
points but new customers can back the defending
champions at 7/2 (4.5) or a sizeable 12/1 (13.0) on
Oranje inflict an opening game defeat upon Spain for the
second time in as many World Cups.
It was Switzerland that shocked the eventual champions on
June 16, 2010, in Durban courtesy of a Gelson Fernandes
winner and Louis van Gaal will hope that his side, who are
rated generally as a 9/2 (5.5) chance, can upset the odds
and punters who take up Paddy Power on their offer of
12/1 (13.0) about the beaten finalists from the last
World Cup will be willing them on.
There is an interesting tactical decision for Vicente del
Bosque in the attacking department. The injury of Diego
Costa has cast doubts over the Brazilian-born frontman's
place in the starting XI for this game and, with Fernando
Torres showing very little for Chelsea over the past few
months, it could be that Del Bosque deploys new Blues star
Cesc Fabregas in a more forward role.
It's not just new cusomters whom Paddy Power are
offering to reward though, the Irish bookmaker
will refund losing bets on the first/last
goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets if
the match finishes 0-0.
That outcome looks a distinct probability given the nature of
Group B, which also sees a talented Chile side join Spain and
Netherlands in competing for the two knockout-stage