Our experts' final predictions


James Lawton, Chief Sports Writer


Most of football is in love with Spain – and for impeccable reasons.

They glorify the game with their willingness to work so hard to achieve such beauty. But they do have one shortcoming. They do not score enough goals. In the hard, finishing quality of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and, maybe, Robin van Persie, the Dutch have the means to inflict the punishment. Holland, 2-1.

Sam Wallace, Football Correspondent

Spain are just about the only team you would back not to lose their heads in a crisis. Xavi and Andres Iniesta just keep on passing, keep on probing. Still, the Dutch will make it hard for them. They might even nick the first goal but my prediction would be for Spain to come from behind and win.

Lee Dixon, Independent Columnist

Spain to win 2-1. They have the best midfield in the world and are running into form at exactly the right moment. They were much the better side against Germany and I cannot see the Dutch, who are suspect right across their backline, having enough to cope with Spain's array of attacking options.

Neil Warnock, Independent Columnist

Spain can withstand the strengths of Holland and I expect them to win, maybe 2-1. They can keep the ball and they have the armoury to put them away. Spain started badly but their timing is right. Besides, I tipped them at the start and have to stick with them.

Glenn Moore, Football Editor

It will be absorbing, rather than enthralling, until Spain score. The Dutch are too cautious to push forward unless they must. When the game opens up Spain will impose themselves and win by a goal.

Steve Tongue, Football Correspondent, Independent on Sunday

Most important thing is that the game lives up to its potential, which is likely. That will require Spain's passing to be as effective as in the semi-final, preferably with more clinical finishing against a fallible Dutch defence. Spain to win 2-1.

Tim Rich, Football Writer

Spain to win. The clash between midfields should be intense and memorable. But in attack while Robin van Persie has promised, David Villa has delivered. In defence; Spain have not conceded in the World Cup's knockout phase, the Dutch have not kept a clean sheet.

Paul the Octopus, Psychic pundit

Not one of our expert correspondents but unlike some of the above the celebrated octopus has a 100 per cent record of correct predictions at this World Cup. After much deliberation, Paul, based at the Oberhausen zoo, has plumped for Spain to win as he seeks to make a clean sweep of South Africa 2010.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific