Despite being reigning World and European champions, La Roja are behind a handful of sides in the betting for this summer's World Cup. Phil Kitromilides previews their chances
There seems to be a general feeling that, in winning the last World Cup and the previous two European Championships, this group of players have achieved all that they can.
Yet one would be foolish to write off the chances of a supremely talented squad who have fostered a winning mentality and the price of 13/2 (7.50) offered by bet365 for Spain to triumph in another major trophy looks extremely healthy.
In qualifying, La Roja were solid if resoundingly unspectacular, recording a series a low-scoring victories to finish top of their group ahead of France.
Only once did Vicente del Bosque's side score more than two goals in the whole of their qualifying process and, while the price of 13/2 (7.50) may hold some value
in terms of winning the World Cup, the same price for them to be top scorers does not overly appeal.
While it has not done them any harm in the past few years, Spain's lack of a clear striker may perhaps be their solitary weak point.
Included in the provisional 30-man squad were Fernando Torres and David Villa, both of whom have had less-than-impressive seasons.
Alvaro Negredo has played less than he would have liked at Manchester City, while Diego Costa's rampaging, title-winning campaign may have come at a cost, with the Brazil-born forward battling injury.
That leaves Fernando Llorente, of whom Del Bosque seems less than enamored, yet 18 goals during his debut season with Juventus show that the former Athletic Bilbao striker is in supreme form.
The aforementioned lack of optimism amongst Spaniards may also stem from the extremely difficult group in which the defending champions have been drawn, with their first game a repeat of the last game they played in South Africa four years ago against Netherlands.
Also in Group B are an excellent Chile side, along with Australia and, while Spain are favorites at 8/11 (1.72) to finish top, they will have to hit the group running, unlike four years ago where they lost their opening game to Switzerland.
|Spain's World Cup Squad - 33/1 with bet365|
|Iker Casillas||Dani Carvajal||Sergio Busquets||Diego Costa|
|Pepe Reina||Sergio Ramos||Xavi Hernandez||David Villa|
|David de Gea||Gerard Pique||Andres Iniesta||Alvaro Negredo|
|Jordi Alba||Cesc Fabregas||Jesus Navas|
|Cesar Azplicueta||Xabi Alonso||Fernando Llorente|
|Javi Martinez||David Silva||Fernando Torres|
|Raul Albiol||Santi Cazorla|