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Match Preview 64: Netherlands vs Spain (the final)

11 Jul

A final from the house that Johan Cruyff built.  The Netherlands, synonymous with Total Football and a fine lineage of free-flowing attacking fluidity, taking on the secondary benefactors of the former Ajax man’s unique footballing philosophy, Spain.  Continue reading


Match Preview 63: Germany vs Uruguay (third place play-off)

10 Jul

The match that nobody wants to take part in… because they’d rather be on a beach, forgetting that 3 days ago they just lost the most important game of their lives. Continue reading

Match Preview 62: Spain vs Germany (semi-final)

7 Jul

Germany have, perhaps, announced themselves as favourites for the World Cup crown after back to back four-goal demolitions of genuine contenders Argentina, and… England. They are a deadly counter-attacking force, and have exploited opposition weaknesses better than any other team in the tournament.  In many respects they are ideally placed to defeat a Spain side who are defensively unsteady and operate with a high back-line.  Continue reading

Match Preview 61: Netherlands vs Uruguay (semi-final)

6 Jul

Luis Suarez based controversy aside, the Uruguayans have more than earned their place in today’s first semi-final.  Solid in defence and assured in attack, they have taken every chance with which they were presented.  Continue reading

Match Preview 60: Spain vs Paraguay (quarter-final)

3 Jul

Spain have recovered from a poor start, and a short-lived identity crisis, to contest the quarter-finals against a Paraguay team who shouldn’t be underestimated.  Continue reading

Match Preview 59: Argentina vs Germany (quarter-final)

3 Jul

For those who appreciate free-flowing, attacking football, this is the stand out tie of the quarter-finals.  One which seems to have developed something of an edge in the pre-match build up.  Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger have both spoken of ‘the South American temperament’ and ‘bat-shit crazy’ Diego Maradona has responded by putting on a mock German voice and suggesting the opposition are scared.  Much of this hostility is a hangover from the last time the two sides met in 2006, where a post-match brawl ensued and Leandro Cufre received a red card for kicking Per Mertesacker in the groin. Continue reading

Match Preview 58: Uruguay vs Ghana (quarter-final)

2 Jul

Africa’s remaining hope against the former footballing giants.  Coming into this summer’s World Cup not many pundits would have tipped either Ghana or Uruguay for a potential semi-final berth.  While some may argue that the form of France and a relatively weak side of the draw has aided their respective causes, it would be churlish to say they aren’t good teams who are in the quarters on merit.  Continue reading

Match Preview 57: Netherlands vs Brazil (quarter-final)

2 Jul

Netherlands versus Brazil is a match which elicits some of the greatest World Cup memories: Johan Cruyff’s volley – to some, the seminal moment in the Total Football revolution – Branco’s free-kick, Bebeto’s celebration, Patrick Kluivert’s header.  All of these moments are etched into the tournament’s folklore.  Great snap-shots from the histories of the two most attacking teams of all time.  Continue reading

Match Preview 56: Spain vs Portugal (round two)

29 Jun

The Iberian derby promises potentially great things, but much will be dependent on how Portugal decide to play. If it’s the open, attacking, side which destroyed North Korea then we are in for a treat.  But, it could be the cynical, histrionic prone, penalty seekers which have dogged the knockout rounds of previous tournaments.  Continue reading

Match Preview 55: Japan vs Paraguay (round two)

29 Jun

Perhaps the least attractive tie of the last sixteen, but it still promises to be an intriguing encounter between two of the tournament’s dark horses.  Continue reading