Posted by ESPN Stats & Information
Spain versus Switzerland -- Wednesday, June 16
Durban Stadium -- Durban
• Spain enters this game on a 12-game winning streak. It went 10-0 in qualifying and has lost only one game in its past 48 -- that loss coming against the U.S. in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup.
• Spain plays a passing game that at its best is an art form. Midfield maestro Xavi is the conductor of the Spanish midfield orchestra.
• Spain injuries: Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas all are limping into the tournament and might not start against Switzerland.
• Alexander Frei injury: Switzerland's captain and all-time leading goal scorer, Frei is an injury doubt for this game. He scored two goals at the 2006 World Cup. At Euro 2008, he suffered a tournament-ending knee ligament injury in Switzerland's opening game against the Czech Republic.
• In 18 previous meetings, Spain is unbeaten -- 15-0-3. The previous meeting took place at the 1994 World Cup.
What to look for
• Spain's striking tandem of Fernando Torres and David Villa is widely considered the best in the world.
• Spain's deep bench: Spain has not only a great starting lineup but perhaps the deepest bench in the finals. As Italy proved in 2006, a deep bench is critical to success at the World Cup.
• The Swiss defense did not concede a goal in four games at the 2006 World Cup (being eliminated on penalty kicks to Ukraine in the round of 16).
From the research room
• Spain has won its past seven group-stage matches at the World Cup. After defeating Bulgaria in the final group match in 1998, Spain took maximum points in the group stage in 2002 and 2006.
• Spain has the most World Cup match wins (22) of any country that has not lifted the World Cup trophy.
• Between 2007 and 2009, Spain claimed two records -- most consecutive wins and most unbeaten matches. After drawing with Italy in the quarterfinals of Euro 2008 (a match it would advance on penalties), Spain would reel off a record 15 straight wins before the shocking defeat to the USA in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup. The loss to the USA also ended a world record 35-match unbeaten run (32-0-3) -- a record Spain shares with Brazil.
• Switzerland led all European teams with 12 headed goals during qualifying (England was second with eight).