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Spain

Spain World Cup odds, tips and betting promos live on Footballtips.com

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Spain head for the 2014 World Cup aiming to extend their own record of consecutive victories in major international football tournaments.
 
The defending champions became the first team to win three global or continental titles in a row when they triumphed at Euro 2012, following their European Championship success of four years earlier and 2010 World Cup victory.
 
Although still ranked No 1 in the world by FIFA, a position they have held for the vast majority of the last six years, Spain are only fourth favourites with the bookmakers to retain the World Cup.
 
Brazil, Argentina and Germany are all ahead of Vicente del Bosque’s side in the betting, possibly because the star players who have helped them to those three big triumphs are now getting longer in the tooth.
 
The likes of goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, midfielders Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta and strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa have been mainstays of the team since 2008 and could now be past their peak.
 
However, there is a supply of new blood coming through and the conversion of Brazil-born striker Diego Costa to Spanish nationality complements other experienced players who have enjoyed excellent seasons such as Sergio Ramos and David Silva.
 
Another reason why Spain’s chances may be being played down somewhat is that they have received a tough draw, with the Netherlands and Chile difficult opponents in World Cup Group B along with likely makeweights Australia.
 
A repeat of the 2010 World Cup Final, won by an Iniesta goal in extra time, against the Dutch is the first game Spain will play on June 13 in Salvador.
 
Next up is a clash with Chile – whom they also met in the 2010 group stage, winning 2-1 - in the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, on June 18 and the group phase is rounded off when they take on the Socceroos in Curitiba on June 23.
 
Four years ago, Spain made it through to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1950 and did so despite losing their opening match to Switzerland, thereafter winning all their games during the knockout phase by a 1-0 margin.

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