Spain to reign in Bloemfontein
The first semi-final of the Confederations Cup sees record-chasing Spain take on the plucky USA.
Vicente del Bosque's team have been simply outstanding in the last couple of years, since defeat against Romania in a 2006 friendly La Roja have gone on an incredible run of 35 games undefeated - including victories against the likes of England, France Germany and Italy.
Of course this excellent run isn't all Del Bosque's work, he's been in charge for 13 games and won each one but the ground work was laid by Luis Aragonés.
The current Fenerbahçe coach got Spain playing fantastic passing football at Euro 2008, with Premier League regulars Cesc Fàbregas and Xabi Alonso only getting a look in from the bench such was the dominant midfield performances from Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. Add to this the awesome front two of Fernando Torres and David Villa scoring six goals between them and you could see why Spain lifted the trophy at the end of the month.
So with that sort of squad it's no surprise to see the Spanish involved in the latter stages of this tournament. Okay the opposition isn't quite in the same league as what they faced at the Euros but, to keep that level of performance going after a long season is a fantastic achievement no matter who you are playing.
Iker Casillas and co go into this clash with USA as overwhelming favourites at odds of 1/4, it looks a certainty that they'll claim the win but correct score should provide you with a bit more value.
The Spaniards have rattled in eight goals in their three group games without conceding and you can't see them slowing down against the Americans, so 3-0 at 13/2 looks a good bet, 4-0 to the European champions even more tempting at 12/1.
If USA manage to stifle their opponents and claim a draw at odds of 9/2 it will mean Spain would break Brazil's record of 35 games without defeat, which they currently share with the five time World Cup winners. It would surely go down as Bob Bradley's finest result in charge of the national team if the USA somehow beat Spain but at massive odds of 11/1 it doesn't look likely.
Heading the first goal scorer betting are the dynamic duo of Torres and Villa both at odds of 7/2. Villa is already closing in on Raúl's record of 44 international goals, the in-demand striker has smashed home 13 in his last 11 outings to take his tally to a phenomenal 31 from just 47 games. His strike partner Torres has assisted him ably, blasting in a hat-trick against the hapless New Zealand in their opening game, and can be backed at 20/1 to repeat that feat against USA.
If the USA are to get anything from this game they'll be looking towards Landon Donovan to keep up his recent scoring run, the Los Angeles Galaxy striker has found the net in three of his last five games and is a 12/1 shot to grab the first goal in this game.
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