World Cup Odds and Betting Picks: Spain Vs. Switzerland Preview and Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 6/14/2010
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I have a feeling that it’s going to be devastation in South Africa for the Spanish national team.
But the question is, will they continue to devastate opponents on their way to a title or will their faithful nation of supporters once again be devastated by another World Cup flop?
We will begin to find out when Spain takes on Switzerland at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, June 16. These teams share Group H and are the last ones to play their opening game of the tournament. They will meet at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
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Spain has been a wrecking machine since the last World Cup. Starting with a win over England in February of 2007 the Spanish side has gone 45-1-2. That includes the first perfect 10-0-0 World Cup qualifying in Euro history, a stretch in which they went 37-1, and included the 2008 European Championship.
They come into the World Cup on a 10-0 run. But their last lost was actually on South African soil. The United States stunned Spain 2-0 in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup last summer.
And that loss right there, amidst a sea of perfection and brilliant football, is exactly why Switzerland has a chance and why fans of The Red Fury have to at least be a little nervous about their sides chances in this year’s World Cup. See, Spain is kind of like the Chicago Cubs of European soccer. They enter every major soccer tournament as either a serious favorite or one of the main dark horses to win a title. Of course, Euro 2008 aside, they always disappoint.
But that said, there is no doubt that this Spanish team is the greatest that its country has ever fielded and one of the best European teams of the last quarter-century. They have exceptional goalkeeping, a stout defense, amazing midfield depth and talent, and an unrelenting group of scoring options up front. They have experience, have been in good form, and they have as much confidence as any team in the field heading into this month’s action.
While Spain is the No. 2 team in the world, according to FIFA rankings, Switzerland is steady at No. 24. However, since the last World Cup in Germany in 2006 the Swiss have yo-yoed between the high teens and the mid-40s as far as their rating is concerned.
This match is the proverbial contrast in styles. Spain has a breathtaking array of offensive weapons and possesses a skill level and flair that few clubs can rival. Switzerland, on the other hand, is as bland as a team can be. They are a methodical, defensive-minded and low-scoring bunch that really just tries to grind teams down to squeak out wins.
This is Switzerland’s fourth straight World Cup final and they actually won their group in 2006. That group featured a French team that the Swiss managed to tie, 0-0, in their opening match. It’s safe to say that Switzerland would be more than satisfied with a similar result in this year’s opener with the Spaniards.
That draw was the running theme of Switzerland’s last Cup. They didn’t allow a goal in four games and were only dispatched in the Round of 32 via penalty kicks.
Both teams play a 4-4-2 formation. But Spain is renowned for its “tika-taka” (touch, touch) possession approach. Basically, The Red Fury plays a mean game of keep-away, toy with their opponents, and then one of their myriad of attackers breaks through for a scoring run. Switzerland likely won’t chase the Spaniards around. Instead they’ll likely just retreat further into their shell, try to weather the storm, and look for an opportunity to counter.
The two sides have met just once in the last 20 years. That was a 3-0 pasting by Spain in Washington, D.C. back in the 1994 World Cup.
Spain vs. Switzerland World Cup Odds:
Spain is a bulky favorite at -400 in this contest. With the spread they are -1.5 (-130). The Swiss are even money (+100) with the 1.5-goal spread and a healthy +1000 to pull the upset. The Draw pays +450. The total is situated at 2.5.
Spain vs. Switzerland Picks and Predictions:
Spain Will Win If: They cash in on what should be ample opportunities. Spain just needs to keep playing its game. I mean, they have won 37 of their last 38 matches outright and have topped elite teams like France, Italy and Argentina in the last two years. They are going to get their shots against the Swiss and their suspect goalie. Spain simply needs to stay focused, stay patient, and take advantage of the opportunities they receive.
Switzerland Will Win If: They earn a draw. That’s about the best that this Swiss team is hoping for. They are completely outmatched and this is a much younger, less experienced team than the group that played in 2006. They will try to frustrate and fend off the Spanish attack and will try to score a “fluke” goal. But even if that were to occur, it better occur late because Spain will come back with a full fury. If the Swiss can earn a point and then try to take out Honduras or Chile that will be their best route to the next round.
Robert Ferringo will be releasing rated selections on the 2010 World Cup this summer. Robert is a long-time soccer aficionado and one of the most exciting handicappers in the industry, and he guarantees a profit through the entirety of the tournament. Sign up today and get on board the Victory Train!
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