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Holland vs Spain – the key head-to-head clashes

| 11.07.2010

With Holland and Spain each battling for a historic first World Cup win, we look at the personal duels that could decide Sunday’s final.

David Villa vs Joris Mathijsen
Having already scored five goals at the World Cup, David Villa is an enticing bet to score first at 7/2.

The Barcelona striker has been a lethal outlet for Spain from central and left-sided positions, and he will need to be at his elusive best to beat Holland’s doughty Mathijsen.

Mathijsen missed Holland’s quarter-final win over Brazil with injury, but the Hamburg defender looked sharp against Uruguay, keeping their dangerman Diego Forlan reasonably quiet.

Xavi vs Mark Van Bommel
Shortlisted for the Golden Ball, Xavi has been the hub of Spain’s intricate ‘tiki-taka’ playing style, and his metronomic passing will be integral to La Roja’s control of midfield.

The Catalan playmaker will be up against Holland’s rugged holding midfielder Mark Van Bommel, who is 7/1 to receive the game’s first card.

Sergio Busquets vs Wesley Sneijder
Sneijder is a 3/1 contender to win the Golden Shoe, and his forward runs from midfield will need to be tracked carefully by Busquets.

Alongside Xabi Alonso, Busquets has formed arguably the finest central midfield partnership of the World Cup, as both players combine resolute physicality with excellent retention of possession.

Gerard Pique vs Robin Van Persie
Barcelona’s Pique and Arsenal’s Van Persie have faced each other in the Champions League, and their clash on Sunday will be intriguing.

Pique will have to be careful that he isn’t dragged out of position by Van Persie’s intelligent movement, while Van Persie will need to stop Pique from launching Spanish counter-attacks.

Despite only scoring one goal in South Africa, Van Persie’s form has been encouraging of late, and he is 7/1 to open the scoring against Spain.

Who do you think will score first? Fernando Torres is 5/1 to open the scoring. See the full Holland vs Spain market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.