Spain or Holland to come of age as first time world champions?
This is set to be a World Cup of firsts. It will be the first to be held in Africa, the first to feature Slovakia, and in the case of either Spain or Holland, it could also be a World Cup which yields a first time winner.
The two sides qualified with 100 percent records, and both are unbeaten so far in 2010. With both teams making such irresistible cases, it is extremely difficult to choose between the two.
So why not back them both? The possibility of a first time winner is priced very attractively at 11/10.
Reigning European champions Spain are many people’s tip to become world champions, and this is reflected by their convincing tournament winning odds of 7/2.
Their Euro 2008 triumph was long overdue, and having won their first major trophy since 1964, Spain have comprehensively removed the shackles of underachievement.
Another European nation perennially associated with unfulfilled promise is Holland, who are 11/1 to win their first World Cup.
The Dutch, like Spain, are looking to lift the Jules Rimet for the first time, as their only notable silverware to date is the 1988 European Championship.
With the so called Fab Four – Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben, Rafael Van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder – all firing in qualification and recent friendly matches, Holland seem primed to make history.
As both sides strive to marry individual brilliance with a balanced team ethos, Spain and Holland are two of the most magnetic reasons as to why a new name will be etched on to the World Cup trophy this year.