Spain: Casillas; Azpilicueta, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Alonso, Busquets, Xavi; Iniesta, Pedro; Costa.
Netherlands: Cillessen, Janmaat, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Guzman, De Jong, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie
101GG Betting Tip:
Group B starts off with a blockbuster game, when Spain and Holland meet at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador to recreate the 2010 World Cup final.
The Oranje will look to take revenge against the nation that robbed them of their big dream in South Africa, but in all honesty, the Dutch will have their work cut out for them. While the Spanish side looks virtually as strong as during the last World Cup and the following Euro, Louis van Gaal’s men have not convinced in recent fixtures.
Having suffered from an abundance of injuries, the Dutch travelled to Brazil without the likes of Roma’s Kevin Strootman, PSG’s Gregory van der Wiel and Hamburg’s Rafael van der Vaart, and have called up some young and inexperienced players in defence.
Spain can approach their World Cup campaign with their greatest injury concern on board and ready for action. Atletico’s Diego Costa who played a fantastic season domestically, seems to be regaining his fitness, and is expected to be featured in Vincente del Bosque’s starting XI on Friday. La Roja have a deep bench, with the luxury of David Silva, David Villa and Fernando Torres ready to contribute up front, should Costa not play up to par.
All in all, expect a disciplined and tactical game, with both sides having too much on the line to risk it all right from the get go. Having said that, the Spanish experience and cohesiveness should allow for Del Bosque to bag the 3 points in this difficult fixture.
101GG Prediction: Spain 2 – Holland 1
Some essential facts and stats to help with online betting:
Spain have kept clean sheets in each of their last three matches, and four in their last six fixtures.
Spain have won 8, drawn once, and lost only once in their last 10 matches.
Holland have won 5, drawn 4, and also only lost once in their last 10 matches.