Joint favorites with five-time champion Brazil, the Spanish come into the tournament loaded with talent from front to back but especially in their very soccer-savvy midfield. In Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Xabi Alonso, Coach Vicente del Bosque has a quartet who can outwit as well as outplay opponents.
The South Americans' obvious task is to finish at least ahead of the Swiss and Hondurans, and Coach Marcelo Bielsa's side looked capable of doing that until striker Humberto Suazo started limping last week. Now, it's a toss-up for second place unless Bielsa can get more from his other forwards.
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has won more titles than any of his players and is a master tactician. He will have to be because Spain is on a whole different level, Chile and Honduras are unfamiliar foes, and South Africa is a new environment, although the altitude should be no problem.
Playing in only their second World Cup and their first in 28 years, the Hondurans might have to be content simply to be at the party. But Coach Reinaldo Rueda is a man who does his homework and the Catrachos, with Carlos Pavon, could spring at least one surprise.