Vicente del Bosque's La Roja have not set Euro 2012 alight yet, but Adam Bate expects Fernando Torres and the rest to fare well against Laurent Blanc's France
"Spain play tik-tak-tik-tak but they created nothing."
It's an increasingly familiar criticism of the world and European champions and one that has been heard a lot in the build-up to their quarter-final clash with France at Euro 2012.
Outwardly, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is not one to panic. "We should have faith in the style that has taken us this far," he told reporters.
But it would be no surprise if the Spain players have been stung by this criticism. A riposte could be just around the corner.
France may be perceived as a tougher test than the alternative Group D opponents of England, but Laurent Blanc's side are unlikely to defend like the English and their mentality could cost them dearly.
Fernando Torres will certainly fancy his chances of adding to his two goals in the tournament so far.
He is a 4/1 (5.0) shot with Sportingbet to get the opener here.
Alternatively, David Silva has an impressive scoring record for Spain with 17 goals in 61 games and he is a 7/1 (8.0) pick to open the scoring.
Of course, France have attacking options of their own, but they will need to give Karim Benzema more support than they did in the group stages if he is to be effective.
Benzema does at least know his opponents well, having scored more than 30 goals for Real Madrid last season.
He is 7/1 (8.0) to get the first goal in this one and put one over on club team-mates Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.
But Ramos might be a tempting bet in the goalscoring stakes himself. France conceded from a set-piece against England and there could be joy for Spain if they pursue that avenue.
It is not a traditional Spanish route to goal but they have it in them with Ramos and Gerard Pique in the line-up – they are both 22/1 (23.0) shots to find the breakthrough.
Ramos can also be backed at 9/1 (10.0) to score at anytime on Saturday and with well over 30 goals for Real Madrid to his name his career record is better than those odds. He is worth a value bet to get on the scoresheet anytime.
But with the France defence vulnerable, it is hard to look past Torres for the pick of the bets and the Chelsea man has to be backed to move a step closer to claiming the Golden Boot here.
|Fernando Torres first goalscorer at 4/1 (5.0) with Sportingbet
||Sergio Ramos anytime goalscorer at 9/1 (10.0) with Sportingbet
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on
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