Spain’s attack has a self paced feel to it with difficulties getting up tempo. They meet a German team that sets an attacking tone right from the get go. The Rojas do not want to go behind early. They need to force Germany into defensive measures early. Unfortunately, Fernando Torres’s form and Vicente Del Bosque’s tactic of two holding midfielders has slowed down the team to a crawl. They are the slowest of the four semi-finalists and out of the 32 teams only the North Koreans are slower.
Against Germany in Euro 2008, the blistering pace of Torres made the difference as he outclassed Philip Lahm in that footchase. Spain unfortunately cannot rely on him to provide that breakaway this World Cup.
El Nino has been a pale shadow- sadly lacking speed, strength, and touch. Without those elements, the Rojas have become a lateral passing team trying to break down defenses through the middle. The Paraguayans effectively marshaled their forces in that part of the pitch before another classical Xavi- Iniesta- Villa move unlocked the defense. But Spain had to sweat to the 83rd minute for that breakthrough.
The Germans will expect more of the same. Which is why Torres should sit on the bench. Spain can increase speed and widen its game by introducing Jesus Navas and hope the Sevilla player bears his crosses into the box. Del Bosque will go in for a 4-2-3-1. The Germans are looking for that correction too.
Del Bosque should be emboldened by doing away with one of the holding midfielders- preferably Busquets and pair up Fernando Llorente with David Villa up front with Jesus Navas out on the right flank. You create a 4-1-3-2 with a lot of speed and variation down the wings. Germany will be forced to stretch out their defense.