Key clashes that could decide the route to the title


Arjen Robben vs Joan Capdevila

Robben has been creating mayhem to the left-backs in the tournament. Capdevila will have to be at his best defensively if he is to stop the Bayern Munich man. Robben is most dangerous when he cuts in from the right to open up a shooting opportunity with his left foot. Capdevila, an experienced campaigner at the top level, will be aware of this and will more often than not keep him on the right, while shielding the inside space.

Robben, will also have some defensive duties, as Capdevila is a player who likes to go forward and if Robben doesn’t track back to help, it could create a lot of space on the left for Spain.

Wesley Sneijder vs Sergio Busquets

Busquets will most probably be the man assigned to mark the World Cup joint top-scorer Sneijder. The Inter Milan player likes to drift deep to pick up the ball and then pick the killer pass. Sneijder is also the player with the most shots in the Dutch line-up and is capable of scoring from well outside the box. Busquets will need to restrict the space try to frustrate the Dutchman into making errors.

 Xavi vs Mark Van Bommel

Everything that’s good about Spain goes through Xavi and the midfield hard-man for the Dutch will have his hands full trying to stop the Barcelona master from dictating play. If van Bommel can stop his former team-mate and his passes, half the battle will be won for the Netherlands, meaning the trophy could well journey its way to Amsterdam instead of Madrid for the first time in history.

Iniesta and Villa vs Gregory van der Wiel

Iniesta will most probably start the match on the left and the diminutive midfielder will bring his repertoire of tricks to the biggest stage, making Dutch right-back van der Wiel’s job extremely difficult. Also with Villa who likes to drift to the left and then cut inside for the shot, van der Wiel will need all the help he can get if the Dutch are to stop the Spain attacks from that side.

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