Our experts' final predictions
Saturday 10 July 2010
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.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men