On June 14, Spain will kick of its tournament as the heavy favorite against New Zealand at 2:30 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. They are joined in Group A with South Africa and Iraq.
On that date, Spain will look to assert to all that they are the greatest football nation at the moment. When you look at what Spanish sides have done this past year alone, it is scary. They took Euro 2008 and then a few of them went on to win the UEFA Champions League this season with Barcelona. And that's not even mentioning the fact that they are 6 for 6 in World Cup qualifying so far. This team may be Spain's best ever, and they want to prove it with their quick pace and precise passing. This team could easily cruise through this group (and the tourney), but for my sake I hope that they keep the games close. Alright, let's look at the rosters.
Strength- MIDFIELD. This midfield has to be one of the top 5 of all-time. With the likes of Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Albert Riera (Liverpool), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (Barca), Santi Cazorla (Villareal), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool, and Sergei Busquets (Barca), Spain look to be a great threat from the midfield no matter who plays. They will miss Andres Iniesta, but they should be able to make up for him.
Weakness- I've still got to say it: defence is the weakness of this team and has always been their main problem. The Barca backs (Pique and Puyol) need to play as they did in the Champions League in order for Spain to fill its full potential. If without the defence, Spain could win the tourney because of the attack and the best goalkeeper on the planet in "Saint" Iker Casillas.
Players to Watch- Just as last time, my players to watch are going to the front line of David Villa (Valencia) and Fernando Torres (Liverpool). Both guys are so lethal by themselves that they really don't need each other. But when both play, the opposing team's defence turns into a stack of cards. Torres scored an incredible 17 goals in an injury-ridden season. Villa scored 30 goals in 40 appearances a goal in 3 out of 4 games!!!). If these two are anywhere near their best, Spain will make a wonderful run and win the tourney.
Prediction- Spain take the group with relative ease and even get the youngsters some time in the third match and win.
Well, I hope you liked it. To see the SoccerNation Report, click here. It's been Keeper and I'm out.