About six hours from now, it will be a classic showdown between two of best in the world this year. Spain versus the Netherlands. There's no underdog tag given. Both are classic teams. Both have the same probability of taking the trophy, minus Paul's prediction, of course....
The Netherlands have "total football", an entertaining and lovely concept in football, technically, tactically and temperamentally. Their bunch of players are of the same strength. One can replace the other without effecting their style of play. This is their best asset....
Spain have style. They play "one-touch" football, entertaining to watch and are also good technically, tactically and temperamentally.
It is a final of firsts in addition to the location. Neither side has won the World Cup despite their undoubted quality, and Europe will win its first trophy on another continent.
It is Spain's first final and a third for the Dutch, who were runners up in 1974 and 1978.
Netherlands Bert van Marwijk’s side are in a state of excellent health. Though a handful of the top Oranje stars were rested from training on Friday, the coach will have a full complement of players to select from come Sunday.
Maarten Stekelenburg had caused some concern due to a hip problem, but he has been training normally, while the dental problems acquired by Demy de Zeeuw in the semi-final have been cleared.
De Zeeuw and Khalid Boulahrouz will both drop to the bench as Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong return from suspension.
Probable starters: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst; Van Bommel, De Jong; Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt; Van Persie.
Spain Vicente del Bosque, like his counterpart in the opposite dugout, will be able to field his first choice XI. That may mean that Fernando Torres is once again on the bench, especially after Pedro produced such an exciting display in the semi-final.
Raul Albiol is the main injury concern for La Roja, and it seems likely that he won’t have a role to play come Sunday.
Probable starters: Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Capdevila; Busquets, Alonso; Pedro, Xavi, Iniesta; Villa.
Just sit back and have a classic final on your TV...
Have a nice day...