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World Cup preview: Spain v Switzerland

The final Group, “H” kicks off Wednesday June 16th with Spain taking center stage against Switzerland as the 800 pound gorilla and favorites to take the cup home.

Spain – AKA: La Furia Roja

Much concern mounted weeks leading to the World Cup with several key players injured for Spain. After their demolition of Poland 6-0 and convincing performances by newly recovered El Nino Ferando Torres and Francesc “Cesc” Fabregas one week before World Cup, the 2008 Euro Champions are is expected to open in great form.

Coach: Vicente del Bosque — Former Real Madrid coach (1999-2003). Took reigns of the Spanish team immediately after their Euro 2008 win.

Players to watch:

Fernando Torres – StrikerLiverpool star, fresh off the injury list.
David Villa – Striker – New Barcelona purchase.  One of Spain’s most deadly strikers
Xavi Hernandez – Center Mid – Barcelona midfielder, considered by many, Messi’s secret weapon.
Cesc Fabregas – Center Mid – Arsenal midfielder, looking to make the move to Barca this Summer.
… rest of the team

Strengths:
Tough defense, masters of the midfield, and world-caliber strikers. Well rounded.

Weaknesses:
… I’ll get back to you on this.

Switzerland – AKA: Schweizer Nati

With their young side taking the U-17 World Cup, Switzerland has begun boasts a fleet of maturing players with lineage. With qualification coming easy for the Schweizer Nati, many expect to see them advance from the group stage.

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld — Almost 30 years of coaching history. Took over the Swiss National team in 2008.

Players to watch:

Alexander Frei – Striker – Swiss footballer with FC Basel

Strengths:
Organized midfield

Weaknesses:
Lacking in an organized attack.

Prediction:

Let’s reference the historical data, Spain has always played well in group stages. While I’d like to say they should demolish the Swiss, we’ve only seen convincing wins thus far from Germany and South Korea. I’ll give them the win, but it won’t come easy against a team that performed well to qualify.

Match result – Spain 2 – Switzerland 0

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