The repeat of the 2010 World Cup final takes place at 3 p.m. between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. This is the first game in Group B of the tournament and the first time we get to the world champions, Spain, in action. Both teams will be looking to win and go on to finish first in Group B. The team who finishes second will likely play Brazil in the second round and nobody wants that.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. This Isn’t a Simple Case of Revenge
The obvious media narrative is to suggest that the Netherlands will be “out for revenge.” The truth of it is, Spain need to get some physical revenge after being kicked around the field during the dirty final of the 2010 World Cup. Everybody remembers Nigel De Jong’s brutal challenge on Xabi Alonso, both players are likely to play today. That could be the best battle of the first round of the World Cup.
2. Spain’s Fernando Torres Needs to Perform
Spanish manager Vincente Del Bosque will have to justify bringing Fernando Torres to the World Cup. In order to do so, Del Bosque left out the better options of Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente. The Spanish coach was proved right to bring Torres to the 2012 European Championships with the Chelsea man contributing to the cause. I wouldn’t expect Torres to play any part today with Del Bosque preferring, rightfully so, to play without a forward in potentially tight games.
3. It’s Going to be Hot in Salvador
The game takes place at the Arena Fonte Nova in the city of Salvador on the eastern coast of Brazil. It’s expected to be hot and windy inside the stadium at kick off. The referee for the game will be Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli. The stadium’s 51,708 is expected to be sold out for the game.
4. Spain Are the Favorites For Victory
Spain are the overwhelming favorites for this game with most betting sites. If you want to bet on the world champions winning, get to Bet 365 where you can get odds of -117 on La Roja. There’s much better betting on the Netherlands, the best being You Win who are giving odds of 450 on Spain. A tie is being offered at 240 by Sky Bet.
5. Australia & Chile Will Be Watching
The second game in Group B at 6 p.m. with Australia playing Chile Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá. There’s a huge potential for upset in this group, Spain and Netherlands are the favorites to go through but Chile will enjoy the chance to get some goals against Australia before playing Spain on Wednesday June 18.