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World Cup: Honduras v Switzerland

 

 

 

Honduras Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.22.39

• W. Palacios is back from a ban but not guaranteed a start due to good team display against Ecuador. • No new injury or suspension worries so Suarez has a full squad at his disposal for the crucial match.
• They know qualification is unlikely but can still progress with a win and a 4 goal swing on Ecuador.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

W. Palacios – CM – Suspension

Expected Team (4-4-2)

Screenshot 2014-06-25 12.37.13

Team News

Luis Suarez must decide whether to recall influential central midfielder Wilson Palacios to his side after Jorge Claros and Luis Garrido put in a fine performance during the tight 2-1 defeat to Ecuador in his absence.

Palacios himself appears to be taking nothing for granted but must expect a start in what remains a crucial game for the Hondurans, with Garrido more likely than Claros to make way if he does. Roger Espinoza and Boniek Garcia also did well against Reinaldo Rueda’s team and will be unlucky to lose their places, though Andy Najar, Marvin Chavez and Jerry Palacios are all pushing Garcia for the position on the right side.

One surprising incident during the Ecuador loss saw Emilio Izaguirre brought off due to a poor performance and reacting very badly at the decision, so the Celtic man’s place could come under threat from Juan Garcia here. However, he may be saved by the fact Garcia was to blame for the winning goal that was conceded due to some poor marking from a free kick. Maynor Figueroa, Victor Bernardez and Brayan Beckeles will complete the back four, with captain Noel Valladares in goal as usual.

Jerry Bengtson and Carlo Costly appear to be automatic selections in attack and with the latter scoring his first goal of the tournament his confidence should be high. Bengtson was poor against Ecuador but has no real competition for his place so should get a reprieve again here.

Bench (from): Escobar GK, Lopez GK, Montes CB, O. Chavez CB, J. Garcia LB, Delgado DM/RM, Garrido DM/CM, Najar RM, M. Martinez AM, M. Chavez RW, R. Martinez ST, J. Palacios ST/RW

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   There was nothing subtle about Luis Suarez’ gameplan against Ecuador but his side carried far more threat than they did in the loss to France. Costly in particular was able to make a big impact with the amount of high balls that came his way and he will definitely have noted the joy Olivier Giroud had in the air against Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou.
  •   The big striker needs much more supply from the flanks, though, with just eight crosses attempted during the course of the 2-1 defeat last time out. Switzerland tend to attack heavily down the wide areas with the full-backs given license to overlap, so Espinoza and B. Garcia need to try and capitalise on the spaces left behind rather than getting pinned back.
  •   If Honduras can unsettle Switzerland in the same way they did Ecuador with their aggressive approach towards the ball carrier then they will stand a chance, but they need to be very careful of keeping this approach as controlled as possible.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Despite losing both games so far Honduras can still progress from Group E, though it will take a 4 goal swing on Ecuador in addition to a win here against Switzerland in the final match. They are also relying on an already-qualified France to beat the South Americans, when Didier Deschamps’ side could afford to lose by a 3 goal margin and still top the group.
  •   Further to this there is the fact of trying to win a World Cup game for the first time ever, with coach Luis Suarez having already chalked one ambition off the list when Carlo Costly scored his goal. His intentions before the tournament were to score a goal and to win a game, with this representing his last chance to do the latter motivation should be very high.

 

 

 

 

Switzerland Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.24.07

• Experienced centre back von Bergen will miss the rest of the tournament due to fractured cheekbone. • Defence looked much weaker with the introduction of Senderos for him in the 5-2 loss against France. • Further changes could be expected in a game the Swiss need to win heavily to guarantee progression.

Unavailable Doubtful

von Bergen – CB – Injury None

Team News

Further changes are expected from Ottmar Hitzfeld ahead of his side’s crucial final game with Honduras on Wednesday, following a crushing 5-2 loss to France that has left their qualification hopes in the balance.

Steve von Bergen will miss the rest of the tournament whether they progress or not after fracturing a cheekbone in a collision with Olivier Giroud and looks set to be replaced by Philippe Senderos, though the Aston Villa man’s poor performance after coming off the bench for von Bergen could see Fabian Schar handed his first start at the World Cup.

It looks likely that Valon Behrami will lose his place to Napoli club-mate Blerim Dzemaili in central midfield, with the latter providing a more offensive option in a game that they need to win convincingly to ensure a place in the Round of 16. Gokhan Inler will partner him there and the attacking midfield trio of Admir Mehmedi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka should also remain intact. Those three should get much more of the ball than they did against France, but Valentin Stocker is an option.

In attack it would be no surprise to see Hitzfeld revert to his original selection of Josip Drmic ahead of Haris Seferovic, with the latter not getting any joy against a powerful French defence. In truth the coach appears to have no real idea who his strongest striker is, which was thought to be a major issue for him long before the World Cup started.

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Screenshot 2014-06-25 12.45.39

Bench (from): Burki GK, Sommer GK, Lang RB, Schar CB, Ziegler LB/LM, Fernandes DM/CM, Behrami CM/DM, Barnetta LW/RW, Stocker LW/RW, Gavranovic ST, Seferovic ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team were nowhere near their best against a rampant France last time out but Honduras are much weaker opposition, so they should be able to play their possession-based game more easily. If Dzemaili does come in for Behrami his runs beyond the striker will be key to offering some much needed penetration between the lines.
  •   More is expected of Mehmedi, Shaqiri and Xhaka in the attacking midfield trio too, with Shaqiri especially not firing on all cylinders yet in Brazil. He has played from the right and in the centre and will be used wherever he can find more space, but with Honduras a rigid 4-4-2 team with two deep central midfielders he should get more space to work in.
  •   Defensively Johan Djourou and Senderos/Schar will need to stand up to what will probably be a very direct approach from their opponents, who use two target men and hit lots of long balls. They did not handle Giroud well at all, though.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Switzerland know this situation all too well after finding themselves in the exact same one back in 2010, where they went into the final group game with Honduras knowing a win was needed to qualify. On that occasion they only got a 0- 0 draw and so will be determined to get revenge this time out, even though the 3 points here may not even be enough.
  •   On top of that the squad will be determined to atone for an embarrassing loss to France in the last game, with Ottmar Hitzfeld’s last tournament as a manager looking like being a damp squib unless they can show a reaction in a game they would typically expect to win. None of their players have stepped up to the plate yet, so motivation should be high.

 

 

 

 

Football Form Labs Betting Preview:
Honduras (27) v Switzerland (24), Wednesday 25th June 21:00 BST

Switzerland were lucky to beat Ecuador in their opener and they were hopeless against France so it is a little surprising to see them as short as 1.45 to win here. It would take something of a miracle for Honduras to qualify from Group E but it’s equally unlikely they’ll roll over and give the Swiss an easy three points.

Honduras failed to score in their three group games in 2010 and they are now winless in their last seven Finals matches. Worryingly, they’ve also won only one of their last nine matches generally as seven of the games have had Over 2.5 Goals. The Central Americans also have a terrible record facing European opposition as they’ve won just two of their 15 such matches since 1995 with nine defeats. Their record against teams ranked 11-35 is a little better: W25-D20-L33 as half of the matches have been all-square at the interval.

Switzerland’s games so far have been much more open than many expected. Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side have now had Over 2.5 Goals in six of their last 10 Internationals as they’ve netted on each occasion – scoring at least twice seven times. Switzerland have also scored twice in their last two World Cup matches when they’ve been the higher-ranked of the two sides.

Since 1970, there have been 23 final group stage matches between two teams that had lost their previous matches and the matches tend to be open affairs. 10 of the matches have been won by the higher-ranked team while just six have been tied. More importantly, 14 of the games have featured at least three goals.

 

Recommendation:

Over 2.5 Goals at $1.72 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.49.05

 

Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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