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The Grand Finale - Preview (Netherlands Vs Spain)
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago

For the first time ever two European giants who have under achieved in the world cup are coming face to face in this first all European final held outside Europe. Both teams have been consistant throughout the world cup campaign and are renouned for their attacking play. Let's discuss all the pre-match talks, tactics and line-ups as a build up to potentially the best ever world cup final in the world cup history.

Both teams have never achieved the glory before which makes it all the more interesting. Let's hope it's a brilliant advertisement for this beautiful game we all love.
Hkremixboy (Fiorentina) 4 years ago
It seems Netherlands has better performance than Spain, Sneijder is superb and he is the playmaker of the team.... Defenders are not world class, however 2 Defending Mid: Van Bommel and De Jong makes more solid on def. I still don't understand why van Persie is in the line-up, he can not score.... On the Spain side, even through there has more than half players are Barcelona, it doesn't seem they play like it.... They depend on David Villa and he plays pretty good, Iniesta, Xavi create chances, but Torres doesn't have any shot at all (maybe his injury effect in the past).... I wish Netherlands will win this one, they are more organize as a team, they are more entertaining than Spain
Kushdog21 (AC Milan) 4 years ago
More organized yes, but as seen so many times in the past (and obviously from earlier comments by RVP no different now) suspect to implosion. Although van Marwijk has done an amazing job and I don't actually think this will happen (just wanted to bring it up). I think Spain's D was tested a bit last game but I think they will be more tested this game, and the Dutch have a much more experienced front line. I think the Dutch will try to somewhat mimic the defend and counter tactics of Germany, but much less so with more ball possession. It'll be really interesting to see the matchup between De Jong/van Bommel and Xavi/Iniesta, as the Dutch D Mids have defensively controlled the pitch thus far in the tourney. I feel like this might be a little more high-scoring (2-1, 3-2) than the last contest, as I'm sure Spain will break through. Their forwards might push higher this game though, allowing Iniesta and Xavi more space to operate as they squandered many chances last game and can't rely on Puyol to bail them out. I think Pedro learned his lesson though and won't be so selfish
Kushdog21 (AC Milan) 4 years ago
Btw I'm predicting 2-1 Netherlands as the final score
Hkremixboy (Fiorentina) 4 years ago
I have the same prediction as yours
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Both teams have done just enough to get to where they are. They have both improved significantly since the start of the tournament. Neither have won a world cup, and both have as you said, underachieved throughout their history.

However despite their similarities these are two very different teams. Spain as we all know is all about possession. "if the other team doesn't have the ball, then they can't score. " this is exactly how they play and it works. Not only does it keep the opposition from scoring, but it also tires them out significantly because if you don't work your hardest to keep spain at bay, then they can tear you to shred's. I never thought I would say it but they are very similar to typical italian teams that we have seen in the past (not this year): it may not be the most difficult task to keep from losing against them, but it is certainly hard to win. Spain are however, relatively one-dimensional, especially with that absence of an in-form fernando torres. Spain passes, and passes, and passes a little more and always try to break you down right from the middle. They have no plan 'b' unless you count giving the ball to iniesta out wide so he can cross to a very short david villa a plan 'b'. If you pack the box against this spanish side, the odds of them scoring many goals are pretty slim. Look at the match against switzerland this year, or the one against USA last year and tell me otherwise. They don't like to shoot from long range, almost always prefering to keep possession rather than risk losing out to a goal kick or a catch from the keeper. And as I mentioned, crossing is not very useful when all you have to aim for is david villa and since they take so long in the build-up, you can always count on him being marked very tighly by bigger defenders whenever that ball is out wide. The only other way spain know's how to score, is off set pieces, and that could prove to be their undoing.

The netherlands on the otherhand like to hit teams quickly on the counter attack, and when they do have possession without the oppotunity to hit teams on the break, rely on the individual brilliance of their many world renouned players. As shown against brazil and uruguay respectively, the dutch are very good at set pieces, and you can almost always expect one or two pieces of pure individual brilliance to create a few chances. Teams can't get lazy when facing the technical ability of sneijder, van persie, and robben, combined with the creativity in passing from those three as well as mark van bommel, and the workmanship exhibited by dirt kuyt, van bommel, and nigel de jong. No team has held off the netherlands in this world cup, and with the confidence they currently have from the record breaking run they are on, I don't think many teams will in the near future. However as seen so often in football, just because you can score goals, doesn't mean you can win a match. Many teams will attest to this, whether that be a national or club side. Though the dutch defence has performed at a much higher level than many expected from them, the defence is far from world beaters. Had brazil actually played the samba style they are so well known for, netherlands would not be here right now. Just look at the game between the two sides. The one opporunity that brazil actually went forward, and a 40 yard pass along the ground creates a goal. Tracking robinho's run may not have been easy, but no one had to track his run. Just get to the ball. Of course because of the wide open gap the dutch left which resembled moses' splitting of the red sea, no one could have possibly cut out that pass. No it was not individual brilliance from melo that created the goal, nor the creative run from robinho, it was a lack of competitence and over confidence on the part of the dutch which created it. Now look at the more recent match against uruguay and what do you see? Two goals scored because no one pressed the shooters quick enough. The dutch seem to realize that tackling is not a necessary component to defending properly. This is very true. However if you arent going to step up to tackle an opponent, you better not give those players the space to create the magic that makes them professional footballers. And when it comes to that part of the game, the dutch seem to be mentally weak; unaware of the threats surrounding them and the urgency necessary to stop an attack, and what seems to be overconfidence which results in being lazy.

Netherlands won't allow spain to hold the ball as well as they did in the semi-final. They'll already know how the game will end if they allow that to happen; exactly how the game ended for germany. However at the same time don't expect much of a battle for possession. Netherlands will know that they can't beat spain at that game. They will know however that if they just fill up that box and counter, they have every chance at winning this game. Spain on the otherhand will do everything they can to keep from fouling. It doesn't matter where it is on the pitch, spain will not want to concede any free kicks. At the same time, they will focus on keeping the passing lanes to robben and sniejder closed, and expect to see 2 or 3 players pounce on them every time one of those two does get the ball to keep them from dribbling or making forward passes. If they can keep those two quiet, only van persie can cause any trouble and with puyol and pique on his back the whole game, I expect to see very little trouble from him.

Make no mistake, this will be a very tight game. It won't be the open attacking type game everyone wants to see. Spain will play their possession game, and netherlands will counter attack, neither styles producing much magnificence as it will all be stifled by the central defenders of spain and the entire back line of holland plus van bommel/de jong. My prediction is 1-0 to the netherlands
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Well said.... I think Van Bommel will be the most crucial player for the Dutch. If he can make sure the likes of Xavi and Xabi have a poor game (which is very rare, especially the former), then the dutch would have a great chance of winning the game.
I also think Robben against Capdevilla would be a very good contest. I think Capdevilla is the weak link for Spain
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Yea, netherlands just have to hope that van bommel doesn't lose the ball as often as he did against uruguay. His work rate won the ball back many times, but that won't be good enough against spain. And if they can get robben to attack capdevilla then the dutch could create some problems, but I would be more worried about sneijder. Ramos is prone to defensive mistakes and getting caught up field a little too much. If he isn't careful, then those extra few seconds that sneijder gets on the ball could be what kills spain
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Yeah.... Kuyt will also have his hands full tracking back Ramos.... He made some fantastic runs against Germany with podolski having a torrid time tracking him back. Ramos had been the best right back in this tournament and he has to do better with his final ball
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 4 years ago
I think kuyt is the last guy you have to worry about in that area. He'll track back every time whether you need him to or not. And since spain don't play out wide anyways other than ramos, they have van bronkhorst who can contain him for the most part
Jetlifari (Arsenal) 4 years ago
@Blueskiesahead: Man, you should submit an resume to a news website man, you have good insight! Also, much more sensible than the garbage that passes for 'punditry' on the BBC
Anyhoo, I think that even though I want the Netherlands to win, this is how I see the game going down.

Both teams are good are pressuring and winning the ball back but with the gamesmanship both teams are capable of expect to see a few cards being shown that will be crucial to the outcome of the game. Howard Webb has been good at the World Cup so far but expect some wild decision to affect the game. Maybe a Dutch sending off is on the cards leading to Spain winning in extra time?

In open play I feel like both teams are pretty evenly matched. Both possess good passing ability, lots of creativity and intelligent, experienced players. While I feel like the game has a strong possibillity of becoming a cagey, "let's not lose" contest, I still feel that we'll see a brilliant game.

Not matter what though, it's going to be history in the making. Whoever wins will be the 8th World Cup winning country and it's going to be the first time a European country has won the World Cup outside of Europe.

Jetlifari (Arsenal) 4 years ago
I was exactly correct!

"Both teams are good are pressuring and winning the ball back but with the gamesmanship both teams are capable of expect to see a few cards being shown that will be crucial to the outcome of the game. Howard Webb has been good at the World Cup so far but expect some wild decision to affect the game. Maybe a Dutch sending off is on the cards leading to Spain winning in extra time? "

From now on call me Paul fellas! Lol
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Haha good call jet, and thanks for the advice, I may just have to see if anyone is looking for some new journalists
Tony (footytube staff) 4 years ago
I hope holland win it, but I can see spain boring them to death like they did with germany, a bit less passing from spain across the pitch might help, and the odd ball forward with pace
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Yeah Tony, sometimes when Spain start passing around they seem to forget that they have players upfront who have to score. Their road to the final and the scores which led them there justifies it
Joeymac (Manchester United) 4 years ago
This should be a great game from a neutral viewpoint. I hope for an early holland goal for an open game. I'd really like for netherlands to win, but please not on penalties!
ManUK (Manchester United) 4 years ago
I Hope Holland beat Spain by Two goals. I support Netherlands as my second national side and love the dutch style of play. I wanted Spain to get to the final as well though, so this tournament is working out nicely for me.

Hopefully Holland won't be lulled asleep and come out and show us their great attacking menace, then spain will have to come out and play their best football which is also fun to watch. Then it'll be a really great match
Adamaus (Manchester United) 4 years ago
I think spain will win 2-0
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Very well.... If Spain scores first this scoreline is very much possible. They will just keep the ball like Barcelona did in champions league final
Soccergal293 (Barcelona) 4 years ago
So what do you guys expect the line up to be like for both Netherlands and Spain?
Sharpoon (Hull City) 4 years ago
I hope The Netherlands win, they've played better football and scored more goals than Spain. Secondly, if they do win they'll be only the second team to record a perfect world cup, winning every game including qualification games, which is some achievement.

Saying all this though, I predict a fourth straight 1-0 victory to the boring Spanish
Kiwoli (Inter Milan) 4 years ago
It will be a great final, both teams have yet to win the World Cup - and Spain have not played in a WC final before - so history will be made regardless. Exactly how it is written will be the talking point. The team that comes out trying and willing to win will be rewarded, I would like to think that when it has come to the games between quality sides in this year's WC, there was always one team who looked to attack at every opportunity because you can't win if you don't score.

I think it'll be 2-2 at full time with a winner in extra time
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
I agree with everything except the scoreline.... It's possible if the Dutch score first. If the Spanish score they will try to shut the game out their way
Juntas (West Ham United) 4 years ago
I'm thinking 3-1 netherlands actually. If oranje can get a goal early to really boost confidence, and open up the field properly and get the ball to shneijder or van persie, it's only the defence that may let them down. Spain's still strong on attack though and really fast so idk
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Yes, a huge thing against spain is scoring early. You get that goal, and you force spain to play with alot more urgency, which in turn will force them into mistakes. If the dutch score early, I wouldnt be surprised to see that scoreline
Anfieldhero (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Yeah, if the Dutch score first then we are in for a really entertaining game. Spain seem to struggle when they go behind. They become too desperate and they lose their way of playing. They also become too vulnerable at the back sometimes committing too many players forward. It will be very entertaining nonetheless
Shuds (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Well that might be the case but from what I have seen in this WC, Del Bosque doesn't want to concede an early goal either. I see Spain playing it safe like they did with Germany, they will keep complete possession, control the game and close down very quickly if they loose the ball. Another thing is when Spain start the game they go out to try and score the first goal, they have done this with almost every game in this WC but sadly it has never worked
CHELSEA61 (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Both these teams have the best players in the world in many positions. Think of a 4 man midfield with Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder and Robben.... Its mind boggling. I have to give the edge defensivly to Spain. Its been said in this thred already that Ramos has been the best RB in the tournament and I agree not to Mention Puyol and Pique in the middle and the CHemistry they bring. My Prediction is 2-0 for Spain even though I hope Holland win because they've been there twice and lost
Shuds (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Poll: Who do you think will win the world cup?    1. Spain  2. Netherlands
Soccergal293 (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Spain
Phearos (Arsenal) 4 years ago
1  
CHELSEA61 (Chelsea) 4 years ago
Spain
Kushdog21 (AC Milan) 4 years ago
Netherlands



   
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