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Defeat to Holland won’t spell end for Spain at the World Cup

| 05.03.2014

Spain could not have asked for a tougher start to the defence of their World Cup crown against Holland but manager Vicente Del Bosque will be well aware that a draw or defeat doesn’t necessarily spell the end for La Roja’s hopes.

The Oranje are 11/4 to win their opener against their 2010 final opponents having breezed through qualifying with nine wins and one draw from their 10 qualifiers, while Ladbrokes is offering 9/4 on this meeting with Spain ending in a stalemate.

And though the Dutch are certainly a tempting price to achieve either, history suggests two things: firstly, that the Spanish are more than capable of failing to pick up three points in their opening fixture and that, secondly, they are still likely to progress.

Rewind to the 2010 edition of the World Cup and Spain made a stuttering start to the group stage, falling to a 1-0 defeat against Switzerland that spelled disaster for La Roja’s hopes before they had even begun.

Yet as the tournament progressed the Spanish national team grew in stature and, more crucially still, were able to deliver the goods when it really mattered with narrow wins over Paraguay, Germany and eventually Holland.

La Roja’s penchant for delivering on the big occasion was showcased yet again two years later, with Spain starting off their European Championship defence with a nervy draw against Italy in which they had to come from behind to rescue a point.

Once again, their tournament was typified by a series of narrow victories including wins against Croatia and Portugal before a team that had grown in confidence met the Azzurri once again in the final, romping to a 4-0 win.

Their style of delivering when it really mattered continued through qualification for the current World Cup with Del Bosque’s side trailing France for much of the campaign, before a crunch clash with Les Bleus saw Spain win 1-0 and top the standings by just a single point.

La Roja are currently 6/1 shots to defend their World Cup title in Brazil this summer and whether they drop points or not against the Dutch, shouldn’t’ be dismissed from the equation.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.