The Swiss must claim three points and hope Group E leader France defeats Ecuador at the Maracana to see itself into the round of 16 as runner up.MANAUS — Switzerland will have to pick itself up from its heavy defeat to France on Friday if it is to secure its 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, which had not played outside of Europe between its final match at the 2010 World Cup and its 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 is without a point and does not boast anywhere near the quality of Didier Deschamps’ men, but is accustomed to the conditions and will make things difficult for its opponents with its 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 against France.
Wilson Palacios will return from suspension for Honduras, though Emilio Izaguirre could be a concern after being withdrawn at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Ecuador on Friday.
That scoreline means Honduras has already bettered its 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.