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Spain vs The Netherlands: Three reasons why Spain will win

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Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

(Read caption) Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque (2nd L) and players attend a training session in Potchefstroom July 8.

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Spain finally ended almost a century of mortification when the home of club heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona finally reached a World Cup final.

Here are three reasons why on Sunday, Spain will fill the gaping hole in the country’s footballing resume and finally get to add a star above the team’s crest:

1. In the last three or four years, Spain has been the world’s most exciting football team, winning praise for its intricate attacking play. But they also have a world-class defense that gives away very few silly goals and have only conceded two goals all tournament. Spain’s Carles Puyol will fear little from Dutch forward Robin van Persie, who has had a subdued tournament with just one goal. This will be crucial in what is traditionally a very tight game.

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2. The bad news for the Dutch is that at the other end of the pitch, Spain’s striker David Villa was unusually quiet against Germany and did not score. To expect this to continue through a second game of football is wishful thinking. Villa has hit the net with an amazing 42 goals in 63 international appearances and he has been on fire this tournament. He may yet end up top scorer. Given how close these games traditionally are, Spain has the player most likely to edge it their way.

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