Preview: Too easy for Spain

15:49, June 03, 2010      

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This is an easy group for 2008 European champions Spain, and the other surviver will be decided between Chile and Switzerland. Honduras, who come back to the World Cup finals' stage after 28 years, may just enjoy their trip and try not to be slaughtered in group matches.

This must also be a group attracting Spanish-speaking football fans as it contains three Spanish speaking sides.

On latest FIFA rankings, Spain are at the second, closely following leaders Brazil, Chile at 18th, Switzerlands 24th, and Hondarus 38th.

Before stunned by the United States in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal, Spain had boasted their 35-match unbeaten run. The loss to the U.S. was the only setback Spain suffered during the year as they won the other 15 matches they played, scoring 47 goals and conceding only 12. Those excellent results earned Spain the title as FIFA Team of the Year.

The current European champions are blessed with talent and depth at every position. Spain's play is composed and assured - one of the results of winning becoming a habit. Their defence is solid and unyielding, their midfielders talented as a unit and able to create opportunities, and their strikers have a cutting edge. They are, in a word, complete.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque's ability to work with a squad of superstars and to get the best out of them has resulted in a stunning run of success.

The only weakness for the Spaniards is their previous failures in big FIFA tournaments, but many would argue that those days are now over following their victory in Euro 2008.

Since then, they have gone with victory after victory. Their team is sprinkled with experience, but overall they are astonishingly young, although many of their youngesters have played for some years on the big stage of the UEFA Champions League.

A little worry emerged when Spain rallied to beat Saudi Arabia 3-2 in a recent World Cup warmup. But that was just a friendly.

Switzerland booked their place in South Africa after topping a competitive qualifying group that also included Greece, which went on to secure a place in South Africa, Latvia, and Israel. In 10 matches, they conceded only eight goals.

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