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World Cup

  • 25 June 2014
  • • 21:00
  • • Arena Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas
  • Referee: N. Pitana
  • • Attendance: 40322
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Switzerland - Honduras Preview: Hitzfeld's men need win to stay in World Cup

Switzerland - Honduras Preview: Hitzfeld's men need win to stay in World Cup

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The Swiss must claim three points and hope Group E leaders France defeat Ecuador at the Maracana to see themselves into the round of 16 as runners-up

By Sam Lee in Manaus

Switzerland will have to pick themselves up from their heavy defeat to France on Friday if they are to secure their place in the last 16 by beating Honduras at the Arena da Amazonia.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men must take three points against the winless Concacaf side and hope les Bleus beat Ecuador in the other match in Group E.

The Swiss, who had not played outside of Europe between their final match at the 2010 World Cup and their opener against Ecuador in Brazil, were demolished 5-2 in Salvador and could well struggle with the conditions in the Amazon.

The match at the Arena da Amazonia kicks off at 16:00 local time, two hours earlier than the three previous matches here, and the temperature and humidity will be considerably higher. 

Honduras are without a point and do not boast anywhere near the quality of Didier Deschamps’ men, but are accustomed to the conditions and will make things difficult for their opponents with their tough-tackling approach.

Both sides largely have a clean bill of health for the match, though Hitzfeld will be without Steve von Bergen for the rest of the tournament after the Young Boys defender collided with Olivier Giroud in the game against France.

Haris Seferovic replaced Josip Drmic for the last game after coming off the bench to score against Ecuador, which may open the door to Blerim Dzemaili, who also scored after being introduced late on against France.

Wilson Palacios will return from suspension for Honduras, though Emilio Izaguirre could be a concern after being withdrawn at half-time in the 2-1 defeat to Ecuador on Friday.

That scoreline means Honduras have already bettered their showing at the 2010 World Cup, having failed to score even once in South Africa, including in a dour goalless draw with Switzerland in the two sides’ only previous meeting.

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