Pick of the day #20: Panama – Spain
Spain have travelled to Central America and Panama City to face Panama in an internal friendly tomorrow night. As expected Spain leave many of their big names at home, but send a squad full of quality anyway. The squad is
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Martin Montoya (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Benat Etxebarria (Real Betis)
Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Markel Susaeta (Athletic Bilbao), Roberto Soldado (Valencia), David Villa (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea).
These players need no further presentation. Even without Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, and others Spain is world class and should win over Panama comfortably. Juan Mata is back in a Spanish squad after been left out the last three times and wants to prove his abilities here.
Panama have done well in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying competition and have reached the final stage. In August they played Portugal in a Friendly and only lost with 2-0. However, they don’t seem to be very confident before kick-off. Their coach Julio Dely Valdés – a former Malaga player and assistant manager – jokes:
“The best thing to take on Spain would be to allow us to play with 22 players instead of 11.”
Panama are ranked 46th in the official Fifa world rankings. I cannot see that them getting anything more than experience out of this game. Spain should win with at least two goals, and probably more. 1.65 is good value for the handicap 1.5 bet. At first I was going for the +2 Asian handicap @2.10, but since this is a friendly you cannot be sure that Spain stop attacking after (say) a 2-0 lead.
Game: Panama – Spain
Bet: Handicap 1.5-0. Spain win.
Odds: 1.65 (Bet365)
Value: 7/10 units
Result: 1-5, +4,55 units
Units in total: +2.19
Total wins-voids-losses: 11-1-8