Honduras v Switzerland – Swiss Goal Machine Rolls OnStats
Honduras v Switzerland
Both teams can still make it to the knockout stages of the tournament, but it is Switzerland who hold the trump card.
Carlos Costly scored Honduras’s first World Cup goal since 1982 to give his country the lead against Ecuador in Game 2, but they couldn’t make it count as Enner Valencia netted twice for the South Americans to condemn Luis Fernando Suarez’s men to a second straight defeat.
La Bicolor are still in the hunt for a last-16 berth, however, but need to win by at least a two-goal margin in order to topple Switzerland and will then be reliant upon the result in the other Group E game between France and Ecuador.
Switzerland will also be keen for France to do them a favour in the Maracanã after a crushing defeat in Game 2. Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men were taken apart by the French in the opening 45 minutes, and then continued to struggle after the interval as Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko made it 5-0. There was some respite towards the end, though, as Blerim Džemaili and Granit Xhaka scored to make the scoreline a slightly more respectable 5-2.
Those two late goals may also prove crucial if qualification for the knockout stages comes down to goal difference. The Swiss must better Ecuador’s result against France, or navigate a two-goal swing in the goal difference column in order to go through to the last 16.
Wilson Palacios will return to the Honduras XI following the suspension he served for a red card shown in the first game against France. Emilio Izaguirre was replaced at half time in the game against Ecuador and may not feature here.
Swiss defender Steve von Bergen has been ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured eye socket sustained inside 10 minutes of the game against France. Philippe Senderos, who is likely to now start this game in his stead, replaced him in form the substitute’s bench.
Head To Head
This will be just the second time that the two nations have met each other on a football pitch, with the other ending in a goalless draw at the group stages of the 2010 World Cup. Switzerland would have progressed to the last-16 had they won that game, but in the end both were eliminated at the group stages.
The heavy defeat to France must have dented Swiss confidence, but the way that they rallied to score two late goals in that game shows that they still have some belief. And while France were able to expose defensive deficiencies on that night, it’s unlikely that Honduras will be able to do so quite as readily here. Odds of 4/9 seem fair on a Switzerland win and should be taken advantage of for those not afraid to back short prices.
In a tournament where goals have been plentiful, Over 2.5 in this game is understandably short at odds of 4/6. The Swiss won’t want to take any chances and will be keen to score as many as they can in order to improve their goal difference, while Honduras’s Carlos Costly is capable of taking any chances that the fragile Swiss defence present.
Expect the tournament goal glut to continue here and take the 7/4 about more than 3.5 goals being scored.