NETHERLANDS vs SPAIN, Johannesburg, 11/07/10
It’s finally here. The biggest match in world football is only days away, and there is no reason to suggest that it won’t be a classic.
Both sides will be hoping to field their strongest teams, and thanks to FIFA’s decision to wipe the slate clean of yellow cards after the quarter-finals, that is very much a possibility as neither side have anybody suspended from the final. The only concern that the Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk will have is that hopefully nobody will pick up an injury in the meantime.
Spain’s coach Vincente del Bosque, unfortunately, not only has thart extra hurdle to clear but also has the added dilemma of whether to play Fernando Torres or not. The world-class striker has failed to impress at the World Cup so far, and despite a vote of confidence from del Bosque earlier this week, he was left out of the starting squad in their semi-final against Germany, where he only had a 12-minute uneventful cameo appearance. The big question is, will the coach let him start in the faith that he will perform, or will he decide not to take the risk and give another start to Pedro instead?
Possible starting line-ups:
Netherlands: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst (c), Kuyt, Van Bommel, De Jong, Robben, Sneijder, Van Persie
Spain: Casillas (c), Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Capdevilla, Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi, Alonso, Torres, Villa
And in preparation for this massive match, we will also have an article detailing the history of the UFWC at the World Cup and where this match will fit into that legacy, so stay tuned as we build up to this match to decide who are the undisputed champions of the world.