Spain vs. Nigeria Confederations Cup Picks
- Updated: June 23, 2013
Matchup: Spain vs. Nigeria
Date/Time: June 23rd, 3:00 p.m. ET
Soccer Betting Odds from WagerWeb Sportsbook
Asian Handicap: Spain -1.5 and -2 (-101)
Total: 2.5 and 3 (Over -112)
A win or draw for Spain gives them first place in Group B, while at this point Nigeria realistically needs a win to have any hope of making it into the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. Tune in on Sunday at 3 PM EST, when the champions of Africa take on the champions of Europe/the World/the Universe at the Castelao Stadium in beautiful Fortaleza, Brazil.
Spain could have named their score against Tahiti on Thursday and decided that 10 was the right number. Coach Vicente del Bosque tried to make things less embarrassing for the Tahitians by starting his B squad, but at the end of the day Spain is the class of soccer right now and Tahiti isn’t even playing the same sport. Fernando Torres notched four goals in the match, but it could have been much more. The current Chelsea striker missed a penalty kick late in the second half and was a bit sloppy with his first touch. Against a legitimate side this may have been the difference between a win and a loss. Against Tahiti, it was the difference between 10 goals and 12 or 13. David Silva looked like the unhappiest man to ever score a hat trick, not even cracking the faintest hint of a smile after his third goal in the 89th minute against Tahiti. David Villa knocked in two and Juan Mata added a goal as well to give Spain one of the biggest wins in a major international tournament ever. There’s little doubt that if Spain gives their all with their A team on Sunday against Nigeria, they will win. The question is how serious will they take the match with a spot in the semi-finals practically locked up.
Group A has had a decent amount of quality matches, but Group B was lacking that until Nigeria and Uruguay put on the best match we’ve seen so far out of Group B. The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to seriously dim their chances to make it into the semi-finals, but played an aesthetically pleasing up and down game that was fun to watch. Nigeria outplayed Uruguay most of the way through the match, registering more shots (15), more shots on goal (4), and having more possession (57%) but now find themselves needing a win against the best team in the world. If Nigeria loses to Spain as expected on Sunday, there will be questions about this team’s preparation before the tournament. Nigeria threatened to boycott the tournament over a dispute with their national soccer federation about bonuses and didn’t arrive in Brazil until 24 hours before their first match.
Spain have won it all in the last three years, a European Championship, a World Cup, and just a week ago the U21 World Cup. The one trophy lacking on its mantle is a Confederations Cup title and Spain look serious about adding this last piece of hardware. It doesn’t matter if del Bosque uses the A team or the B team, Spain should emerge victorious if they put out the effort.
Spain vs. Nigeria Pick: Spain -1.5 and -2