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World Cup

  • June 25, 2014
  • • 21:00
  • • Arena Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas
  • Referee: N. Pitana
  • • Attendance: 40322

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 France defeat Ecuador to see themselves into the round of 16 as runners-up, while Honduras need need to win by three goals

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.

Luis Fernando Suarez's side also have hopes of getting out of the group, but need to beat Switzerland by three goals and hope France win.

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 will be replaced at left-back by Juan Carlos Garcia.

The 2-1 defeat to Ecuador on Friday 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.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Players to Watch
C. Costly
C. Costly
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 13
Games Goals YC RC
3 1 0 0

Carlo Costly scored his country’s first World Cup goal since 1982 last time out to add to his seven in all qualifying stages. He will likely start up front alongside Jerry Bengtson, with the two of them providing eight of 13 strikes in the final, and most testing, CONCACAF qualifying group. With Switzerland conceding as many goals in one game against France as in their last nine World Cup matches combined, the Honduran attack might sense their chance to go out with their first ever win in the competition.

Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
4 0 0 0

Ricardo Rodriguez has so far lived up to his pre-tournament billing as a fine attacking left-back, even despite the 5-2 drubbing at the hands of France. His runs from deep, crosses, passes into the area and long-range shots have caused havoc at times, especially against Ecuador. He has created five chances for team-mates so far, and could be a source of joy in Manaus against what is a weak Honduras side.

The physicality of Honduras will cause Switzerland problems but they have the attacking quality to get the victory they need, even if it does not prove enough to see them into the round of 16.
Editor's Prediction

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