Writing about Spain has become about as mundanely predictable as watching them win these days. But as the man charged with shedding some light on their upcoming World Cup qualifying victory over Georgia on Tuesday night, I’m going to avoid the long, drawn-out 2,000-pass move to goal and just sling it in the mixer instead.
Being Spain’s usual tipster, I was tempted to dig out one of my pieces from their victorious Euro 2012 campaign, cut and paste together, change their opponents from the time to ‘Georgia’ and have a tinker with the odds.
The usual protocol for a Spain article is to reinforce their global supremacy, have a brief look at how they’ve done in the most recent fixtures, dig up some ludicrous stats to drill home their awesomeness, write off the opposition’s chances of doing anything and suggest a few ways for you to make a couple of quid.
If La Roja refuse to change their way of doing things on the pitch then nor should I when writing about them from a betting perspective, so here we go.
You have to go back 45 World Cup qualifying games to March 31st, 1993 for the last time Spain lost a match of this type – a 1-0 defeat by Denmark in Copenhagen with a certain Pep Guardiola in midfield.
Every man and his dog knows Spain have won the last two Euros, sandwiching a World Cup – a feat no other side has ever accomplished – which adds great weight to the suggestion that this lot are the greatest international team of all time.
Since hammering Italy in Kiev, the Spaniards huffed and puffed past a poor Puerto Rico in August’s ball-ache of a friendly but were back to their methodical best during a 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening.
Their record in World Cup and European Championship qualifiers is utterly ridiculous. They’ve won 26 of their last 27 across both formats and you have to go back 45 World Cup qualifying games to March 31st, 1993 for the last time they lost a match of this type – a 1-0 defeat by Denmark in Copenhagen with a certain Pep Guardiola in midfield.
They may have stuttered in a few friendlies over the past 18 months but when it comes down to business, Spain invariably get the job done.
Bwin’s 3Way football betting market has Vicente del Bosque’s men at 13/100 to begin the road to Brazil 2014 with three points from their Group I clash with Georgia in Tbilisi, with the hosts way out at 29/2 and the draw at 29/4.
In fairness, the ‘Crusaders’ are on a decent run themselves having won four of their last five matches, including an impressive 1-0 success over Belarus on Friday to kick-start their campaign.
However, Temuri Ketsbaia’s side have few household names, with Zurab Khizanishvili, of former Rangers, Blackburn and Reading fame, being their most notable squad member and he was last spotted being run ragged for the Royals by Swansea City in the 2011 Championship play-off final.
Everything here points to yet another Spanish victory and I can offer no rational reasoning why anybody would want to stray from that conclusion.
But given they are such overwhelming favourites to beat a side ranked 86th in the world, you’ll have to have a good rummage about to find anything resembling odds against. Spain with a 1-0 handicap is still 2/5 and Spain to win a game featuring over 2.5 goals is 1/2.
Spain are 21/50 to be winning at half and full-time and 3/5 to win to nil, but among all of these fractional prices lies one nugget which, given the context of this game, is very difficult to ignore.
The multiple correct score of either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 Spain is a preposterously overpriced 27/20 and considering the Spaniards rarely really thump anybody while conceding very few, this is certainly where my money will be going.
New customers registering with bwin are entitled to a free £20 bet and following my lead on the Spain multiple of 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 could return you £47 if successful.
The rest of the markets are largely long odds-on for Spain but given the attacking options at their disposal, there’s plenty of value in the goalscoring markets.
Against Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Pedro popped up with a brace and he’s 4/1 to repeat that trick and same price to break the deadlock.
Arsenal ace Santi Cazorla has got the first goal in the Spaniards’ last two games and he’s even further back at 11/2 to make it three in a row, while La Roja’s all-time leading scorer David Villa came off the bench to notch at the weekend and is 2/1 to score first.
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