World Cup Odds and Picks: Chile Vs. Spain Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 6/24/2010
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It would be stunning if Spain didn’t make the Round of 16 at the World Cup, but it at least has its own destiny in its hands during Friday’s match with Group H leader Chile.
Currently Chile tops Group H with two wins (six points), while Spain is tied with Switzerland in second with three points apiece. Chile obviously wins the group with a victory or a draw. It also advances with a loss and Switzerland tie or loss to Honduras or a loss and a Switzerland win if Chile maintains a goal differential over the Swiss (currently +2 for Chile).
Spain advances with a win, a tie and Swiss loss, or tie or a loss to Chile and Honduras win but keep the goal differential over those two countries (Spain is +1 on the Swiss and +4 on Honduras). The Spanish, the defending European champs, have to be feeling better about themselves after being stunned by Switzerland in the opener but then beating Honduras 2-0.
David Villa was brilliant in that recent match with two goals and was just a missed penalty kick away from the second hat trick of this World Cup (he also hit the crossbar on another shot). Villa has 40 goals in 60 appearances, four behind Raúl for most goals in Spanish history. And Spain completely dominated action with a 54-3 advantage in touches inside the opponents’ 18-yard box.
"We certainly paved the way for the third group match against Chile, but ... we had glorious opportunities, many opportunities, we should have won the game by more goals so I'm not entirely satisfied,'' said Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque in published reports.
Villa did strike Honduras defender Emilio Izaguirre in the face as they waited for a free kick to be taken towards the end of the first half and FIFA is looking at that. It’s not thought he will face suspension here but that needs to be monitored before getting those bets down.
About the only negative vs. Honduras (other than maybe a Villa suspension) was that Fernando Torres received and created several chances but couldn’t capitalize on any of them. He has been battling his way back from a knee injury but did start against Honduras after coming off the bench against Switzerland.
"I played 70 minutes and the good news is I feel ready to last for 90 minutes for the first time since my recovery,” he said.
Chile has won both of its matches 1-0, but it has been arguably the top attacking team so far in South Africa. It bombarded the goal against both Honduras and Switzerland. Humberto Suazo, the leading scorer in South American qualifying, did not play in Chile's opening 1-0 win over Honduras due to a left thigh injury but did play vs. the Swiss but clearly wasn’t fully in form.
On Friday, Chile will be without midfielders Carlos Carmona and Matias Fernandez, who are both suspended.
Chile vs. Spain World Cup Odds:
Chile is the +1 underdog (+105) with Spain at -1 (-135). If you are wagering with the draw, Chile is +550, Spain is -220 and a draw is +330. The total is 2.5, with the under a -120 favorite. Odds are courtesy of Bodog and Sports Interaction.
Chile vs. Spain Picks and Predictions:
Chile will win if: Suazo is 100 percent. But will Chile stick with its attacking style or simply play for a draw? It is scenarios like these in Group H as to why the two final matches in each group are played simultaneously. Chile had conceded a tournament-low one shot on target after two games, but it’s totally unrealistic to expect Spain not to be on target often.
Spain will win if: It simply scores a goal. Spain has won the last 38 games in which it has scored, which dates back to 2007. Spain is unbeaten against all-time Chile: six wins and one draw, outscoring Chile 18-3. Obviously if FIFA suspends Villa, that should change the odds on this match.
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