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Spain v Chile: Holders’ defence set to end in embarrassment

| 16.06.2014

The ramifications of a crushing opening World Cup defeat to Holland are two-fold for Spain. Firstly the players who looked so sluggish in that 5-1 loss will not be given a shot at redemption, while their match against Chile becomes a knockout.

Here’s our best three bets for the match:

Chile to win at 9/2

All the talk about Spanish changes revolve around the middle and attacking sections of their side. In reality, it’s at the back that needs replenishing but Vicente del Bosque doesn’t have the means to do so.

Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos were obliterated by the pace of the Dutch last time out and, with only the equally leisurely Raul Albiol and Javi Martinez to replace them, Spain can be put to the sword by Alexis Sanchez and the rest of his fleet-footed Chilean forwards, who start out wide and look to cut inside, either with or without the ball.

Cesc Fabregas is in line to replace Diego Costa in his “false nine” role but Spain aren’t free-scoring in that system (which they need to be with a -4 goal difference) and will play into Chile’s diminutive defenders’ hands.

Chile to score over 1.5 goals at 23/10

With those La Roja defensive concerns in mind it’s well worth taking up the price on Chile scoring two or more goals in the game, which is inflated by Ladbrokes’ view that the South Americans are the underdogs.

Since 26 March last year, Chile have played 16 games and on only two occasions failed to pass the 1.5-goal line.

Spain to win by a one goal margin at 3/1

If Spain do manage to overturn things, then considering what’s at stake and the quality of opposition that faces them, it’s likely to be a nervy affair.

Their last two wins over Chile have both been by one-goal margins and their last five World Cup games prior to the Holland mauling were all won in a similar fashion.

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.