2014 World Cup: Reserves Crucial in Netherlands’ Efforts to Beat Spain
The rematch of the 2010 World Cup between Spain and the Netherlands is slowly approaching our television sets. Head-to-head, Spain and the Netherlands have played ten total matches. In those ten matches, Spain won five with their most recent win coming in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final off of an Andres Iniesta goal in the 116th minute of the match.
However, this is not 2010 and we should not compare this game to that of four years ago. Both of these teams have added some firepower to their benches as well as to their starters to give their team the best chance to win. The Netherlands seem to be a completely new team outside of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie. They have added young and very talented stars such as Memphis Depay and Stefan De Vrij. De Vrij is expected to start on the back line while Depay will come off the bench as an extra attacker. Depay brings energy and quickness to table, and the Netherlands would be foolish to not bring him onto the pitch in the second half. A new goalkeeping staff has been added to the Dutch squad as Martin Stekelenburg was left off roster which still leaves questions as who will start in the net for the Dutch. Between Jasper Cillessen or Michel Vorm, my money will be placed on Cillessen, the 25-year-old goal keeper for Ajax. Questions will be asked about whether or not their defense can withstand the Spanish attack due to their lack of experience.
Spain, on the other hand, are bringing back most of their core players who were present in the World Cup four years ago. Fortunately for the Spanish, that talent pool will not run dry any time soon. Spain add Diego Costa, Koke and Santi Cazorla among others to the squad to create more depth. Spain have made some necessary cuts prior to the World Cup to bring in a younger presence. Looking at the roster for Spain, I am awe-struck. This team is loaded, and I am not sure how Vicente Del Bosque will be able to pick a starting eleven from such a highly-skilled roster. If one or more starting players for Spain are not performing up to Del Bosque’s expectations, he will not hesitate to substitute another incredibly capable star.
It is hard not to pick Spain to win in this situation. Their team is way too deep, and they have experience on their side. It will be a fun match to watch, but I believe Spain’s capability to possess the ball and make smart passes will tear apart the Netherlands’ defensive backs which will cause Louis Van Gaal to make offensive substitutions to try and upstart an attack on Spain’s back line.
Collin Ruby is a Soccer Writer for RantSports.com, follow him on Twitter @Collin_Ruby