Euro 2012 betting preview - Group C - Spain 2/2
In this article we look at the Spanish team's world class midfield and attacking players, consisting of well known names such as Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Torres, Villa, etc. In the previous article we looked at their defence and the Euro 2012 betting odds available, if you have not read it you can do it here.
Key Men: Midfield
David Silva (Man City) 55 caps 15 goals. Silva is a fantastic ball player with excellent awareness, and can play in any attacking position with ease. He has had a brilliant season with Man City and is likely to be named Player of the Year in England. During the qualification he was 2nd top scorer and has a high number of assists.
Xavi (Barcelona) 108 caps, 10 goals. Needless to say, he is one of the best playmakers of the game. Xavi rarely gives possession away, he will be involved in creating chances during the whole game, and scores a lot of goals too. Overall a very hard working player with great stamina. He was Euro 2008 player of the tournament.
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) 93 caps, 12 goals. Alonso will sit deep for Spain. He is another player with exceptional passing ability, and excels with long range distribution, being able to switch play with raking cross field passes. His link-up play with Xavi and Iniesta is pure class. In addition, set piece delivery is good and he will provide many assists.
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) 64 caps, 11 goals. Although Iniesta is often overshadowed by Xavi at times, he is maybe more of a complete player. Another Spanish pass master, he seems to find time and space even in the most crowded areas. Other strengths are great vision and creativity, not to mention that he scores and assists in bundles too.
Juan Mata (Chelsea) 16 caps, 5 goals. Mata can play in a variety of positions, and adapted easily to the English Premier League. An elegant player that can drift past other players with ease. His passing is exceptional, and he has good balance and movement. Only weakness is that he is heavily dependent on his left foot.
Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona) 63 caps,8 goals. Fabregas can operate as either central midfielder, attacking midfielder, or even as striker. He is similar in stature and ability to those already mentioned. Another valid point is that he hasn't featured as much for club and country, so will be fresher than most. Overall, he has excellent close control, passing and vision, and is a good finisher also.
Analysis: Spain's midfield is second to none. Especially the Barcelona trio of Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets, alongside Xabi Alonso, give Spain serious options with the ability to pass the ball for 90 minutes and totally dominate possession. They have an abundance of talent with Silva, Mata and Fabregas all of them being other options if Spain deviate from the 2 orthodox strikers.
Key Men: Forwards
David Villa (Barcelona) 82 caps,51 goals. There seems to be a real doubt as to his participation, as he is not recovering on schedule. Villa is the key forward for Spain, with a strike rate second to none. He is an excellent finisher and has the ability to score from anywhere, not to mention that he is a great dribbler with excellent close control. Would be 1st player on team sheet if fit.
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao) 20 caps, 7 goals. Llorente is a massive, powerful and imposing centre forward - almost a throwback to the typical English striker. He is great in the air, but very composed with the ball at his feet. Looks to be the man to benefit from Villa's misfortune.
Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 91 caps, 27 goals. Once considered one of the best forwards in world football, Torres is very fast, skillfull, and able to score from long range with a powerful shot. He is a highly clinical finisher and with a very good running through on goal. Torres has rediscovered some form of late and could be on his way back, as his confidence is high and he is starting to look like his old self.
Analysis: It will be a massive blow for Spain if David Villa misses out. Fernando Torres isn't even assured of a squad place, although he may have just done enough with a late flurry of goals in EPL and the goal at Barcelona. Del Bosque may prefer the power of Llorente, who has been excellent again for Bilbao. But it is not as if Spain is out of bad options, other options may be to push forward Mata and even Fabregas who have played as the 2nd striker before. They do for sure still have a fearsome attacking threat.
Ranked number one, and as Champions of the last Euro and World Cup, Spain are the natural favourites. With this comes added pressure, everyone will be looking at them and demand no less than world class football entertainment, so will be very interesting to see their matches and how well they live up to the expectations. The stakes will be high and the margins low, Germany and several other countries will be lining up to exploit any dip in form or errors from the Spanish side, so they better stay sharp all the way through. Keep reading our Euro 2012 betting preview articles, as many more countries are to come!