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World Cup Countdown: Could Spain’s defence end without a win?

| 22.05.2014

Having dominated major tournament football since 2008, Spain would be expected to mount a strong defence of the World Cup trophy they won for the first time in South Africa four years ago.

However, they’ve been drawn in one of the more prickly groups in Brazil this time around. With just 21 days to go before their bid to retain the title gets underway, Ladbrokes have gone 21/1 that they fail to win a game.

The price is part of the company’s World Cup countdown series, in which they offer up a juicy tournament special each and every day before the big kickoff. There’s been some healthy looking bets served up already and this one is no different.

Drawn in Group B, alongside Holland, Chile and Australia, Vicente del Bosque’s side are 7/10 favourites to advance to the second round as winners. However, Ladbrokes are opposing that school of thought with a price on their title defence ending in a winless sham.

To start with, overcoming the Oranje in the 2010 World Cup final is a sizable feather in Spain’s cap ahead of their latest meeting. But, they needed extra time to seal that win and such a luxury won’t be available in their upcoming group stage meeting.

In fact, over the course of the last five 90-minute contests with Holland, Spain have failed to win on every single occasion.

Then there’s Chile, a South American side playing in a familiar climate and capable of testing the more revered footballing nations. They showed as much when inflicting England’s first defeat at Wembley since 2012 last November and drew with Spain last time they met.

Australia, who are 16/1 to beat Andres Iniesta and co when they come face to face in the final game, may not pose as much of a threat as their group-mates but, as Switzerland showed in a jaw-dropping defeat of La Furia Roja in South Africa, anything’s possible.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.