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Spain’s powers of recovery should not be underestimated

| 14.06.2014

Friday the 13th proved a fitting date for the reigning world champions as Spain turned in a true horrorshow of a performance in their 5-1 loss to the Netherlands.

Following the humbling defeat many people have been very quick to write La Furia Roja’s obituary, and sound the death knell of tiki taka football itself.

However, as they sit in their team hotel smarting from the thrashing the Oranje handed out, Spain will be plotting a way to make good on their now lengthy odds of 12/1 to win the World Cup.

They have form in this regard. In World Cup 2010 they also lost their first group game, 1-0 to a Switzerland side far worse than the Dutch unit they played in Salvador.

Then two years later, at Euro 2012, Spain turned in an awful display against Italy in their first group game, only escaping with a 1-1 draw thanks to the Azzurri’s profligacy.

On both occasions they were able to pick themselves up and win the competition, truly coming into their own during the knockout stages where they did not concede a goal in either South Africa or Poland and Ukraine.

The 5-1 loss to the Netherlands might seem different, but Spain actually dominated the first half of the game, and could have gone in 2-0 up had David Silva not spurned a golden opportunity before the Dutch equaliser.

Once behind, Spain pushed too high up the pitch in search of their own leveller, and were brutally picked off by the Netherlands’ fine attacking players.

Vicente Del Bosque needs to ensure his side doesn’t make the same mistake if they go behind against a Chile side they are 3/4 to beat, and has to bring some fresh blood into the team.

The Spanish manager has a bench laden with stars like Koke, Juan Mata and Javi Martinez he can turn to, and Iker Casillas’ mistakes could see David De Gea finally take his place in Spain’s senior side.

The world champions have taken a heavy blow, but smart punters should view this as the chance to grab them at a long price just in case Spain have another recovery up their sleeve.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune