Holland v Spain: World Cup final preview

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Holland v Spain
World Cup Final
Venue: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Date: July 11 – kick-off: 7.30pm
TV Coverage: Live on BBC1 and ITV1

Live Team Sheet

HOLLAND: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 11-Arjen Robben; 9-Robin van Persie.

Subs: 12 Boulahrouz, 13 Ooijer, 14 De Zeeuw, 15 Braafheid, 16 Vorm, 17 Elia, 18 Schaars, 19 Babel, 20 Afellay, 21 Huntelaar, 22 Boschker, 23 Van der Vaart.

SPAIN: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi, 6-Andres Iniesta, 16-Sergio Busquets; 18-Pedro, 7-David Villa.

Subs: 12 Valdes, 23 Reina, 02 Albiol, 04 Marchena, 17 Arbeloa, 10 Fabregas, 20 Javi Martinez, 21 Silva, 22 G Jesus Navas, 09 Torres, 13 Mata, 19 Llorente.

Which Premier League star will make a major impact?

There is plenty of English interest in tonight's World Cup final, and not just because Premier League official Howard Webb is in charge of the proceedings.

Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas, whilst both being on the fringes of the tournament thus far, will hope to have a huge impact on the biggest footballing stage.

The Liverpool striker has been struggling for form all tournament, with an end-of-season injury causing continuous problems that eventually led to the forward being dropped for the semi-final against Germany.

However, Vicente Del Bosque has always backed his striker and believes 'El Nino' could play a crucial role at the Soccer City Stadium despite finding himself on the bench for the match.

"Torres has been helping us all along. His work is important even if it is not noticed. He is good at occupying the centre-backs," the manager told the Daily Express.

Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, who starts the game on the bench for the Spaniards, could play a crucial role as he did for his nation so well in Euro 2008.

Holland have a string of Premier League players involved, with Johnny Heitinga, Nigel De Jong, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie all starting for the Dutch.

Much was expected of the Gunners striker before the World Cup, but like Spanish counterpart Torres, he has failed to find his best form.

Van Persie remains confident that he can have a huge impact on the final though, wanting to end years of hurt and lose the 'nearly-man' tag that continues to haunt Holland.

"Things have not always gone my way in this World Cup but we have been so strong as a team," Van Persie said of the team spirit in the Dutch camp.

"This final is going to be the biggest test for my generation of players but it’s not just a climax for me or the team; it’s a World Cup in which the whole Dutch nation are involved."

The only thing certain is that a new name will be on the World Cup tonight, and all hope that the final does justice to a tournament that came to life in the knockout stages.

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