Chile stand in way of Spanish stylists

Anything less than three points against Chile on Friday will condemn Spain to an early flight home. The team who had been hyped up to be the embodiment of style and substance before the World Cup are under intense pressure to extend their stay in South Africa.
Tickets for the potential blockbuster in Group H at Pretoria have suddenly assumed greater importance than they would have at the time of booking. All eyes will be on Spain on the final day of the preliminary stage, as Brazil and Portugal have made the proceedings in Group G academic.
The situation is so fluid in the pool that the Spanish cannot afford a slip-up. Switzerland should have little trouble in sweeping aside Honduras in the simultaneous kick-off at Bloemfontein and stake their claim for the next round with six points. What has made Spain’s position tenuous is Chile, on six points, need only a draw to progress.
If the South Americans decide to park a bus in front of their goal, Spain will have to implement Plan B to pierce through. Under Argentine tactician Marcelo Bielsa, Chile have become organised without abandoning South America’s traditional flair.
There was no relief on the face of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque after the Honduras win on Monday. The former Real Madrid boss was, perhaps, aware that the bigger test was against Chile. Del Bosque later said he was concerned about his strikers’ profligacy against a team as innocuous as Honduras. David Villa bagged a superb brace that day, but he was also guilty of missing a penalty. The pocket dynamite is indeed lucky to be available for the Chile clash after Fifa decided not to press charges against the Barcelona striker for lashing out at a Honduran defender during a set-piece routine.
Fernando Torres was awful against the Central Americans. There was no doubt that the Liverpool frontman had turned up at Ellis Park without his scoring boots.

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