BARRY WILNER, AP
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Matchups for Sunday's World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City:
When the Netherlands has the ball
Possession, possession, possession.
Villa also is a sparkplug, the most exciting performer on a squad filled with artistic players such as Xavi, Iniesta and Alonso.
Spain's only goal against Germany, despite dominating the match, came on a set piece, and Xavi is masterful on corner kicks and free kicks. Watch for the taller Spaniards such as defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Sergio Busquets in front of the net on corner kicks, although it was the shorter Carles Puyol who powered in a header off Xavi's corner kick for the winner in the semifinals.
The Netherlands has been criticized for being slow on defense. If that's true, Van Bronckhorst, Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga and Joris Mathijsen could be under siege.
Casillas is among the world's best keepers and has been for years, earning him the nickname San Iker in Spain. He's particularly masterful cutting down angles on shooters, and he made two huge saves late in the semifinals after Uruguay pulled within 3-2. As Spain's captain, he obviously has leadership skills, and he's among the most popular players on the team. This is his third World Cup.
For Stekelenburg, it's his first. He's been a tad inconsistent and let in a shot by Diego Forlan against Uruguay that perhaps he should have stopped with his arms. But Forlan regularly scores on lots of keepers.
Stekelenburg will be the tallest player on the field and he might need every bit of it to handle the sharp shots the Spaniards can send his way. He is new to this level of competition and generally has handled himself well. He also has not faced an attack like this.
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