2010 World Cup finalists Spain and Netherlands will clash once again in their Group B opening match on Friday, June 13.
Kick-off time is 3:00 p.m. EDT at Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Bahia.
Tiki-taka versus counter attack, Spain versus Netherlands.
Netherlands star winger Arjen Robben has something to say about the upcoming tactical battle.
“I don’t think we’re capable at the moment of playing tiki-taka or beautiful football. In the end, it’s all about the result,” Robben said, referring to Spain and Barcelona’s quick-passing style of play.
“The counter attack is a very dangerous weapon that we’re certainly going to use at this tournament.”
Robben will certainly hope that striker Robin van Persie, attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder, and himself will be able to put away the goals once his side wins possession from the Spaniards. Otherwise, the Oranje will be in for a long afternoon, because Spain simply doesn’t give away the ball easily.
“We need to keep focused and stick to the philosophy of playing style that has brought us so much success,” said in-form Spain defender Sergio Ramos, fresh from his Champions League victory with Real Madrid.
“We don’t need to change it, we just need to maintain maximum respect toward our opponent, which is something that has helped us reach the top.”
Having plenty of possession is one thing, but it doesn’t instantly translate into goals and the much-vaunted win.
Spain will need their new Brazilian-turn-Spaniard striker Diego Costa fit if they want to see goals, and luckily, he seems to be recovering well from a long-term hamstring problem.
“Every day I feel better. I’m very motivated, I think I’m 100 percent and ready,” Costa said. “I can’t wait for the competition to start.”
Epoch Times prediction: Expect Diego Costa to score a goal, and Spain to tiki-taka their way to a 1-0 win.