View Full Version : FIFA WC Soccer 2010 , GROUP H: all previews, reviews and match thread

May 31, 2010, 12:14 AM


<center> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border-collapse: collapse" bordercolor="#111111" width="75%" id="AutoNumber1" height="99"> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="19">&nbsp;</td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" align="center" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">Team</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">P</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">W</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">D</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">L</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">F</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">A</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">GD</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">PTS</font></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#66FF99"><b> <font face="Arial">1</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#66FF99" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Spain</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>0</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>4</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>6</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#66FF99"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#66FF99" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Chile</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>0</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b>6</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#FF6666"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#FF6666" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Switzerland</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>0</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>4</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#FF6666"><b> <font face="Arial">4</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#FF6666" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Honduras</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>0</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>2</b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>0</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>3</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>-3</b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b>1</b></td> </tr> </table> </center>


Wednesday, June 16
11:30 - Honduras 0 : 1 Chile, Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
14:00 - Spain 0 : 1 Switzerland, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

Monday, June 21
14:00 - Chile 1 : 0 Switzerland, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
18:30 - Spain VS 2 : 0 Honduras, Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Friday, June 25
18:30 - Chile 1 : 2 Spain, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
18:30 - Switzerland 0 : 0 Honduras, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

* All times are GMT


http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/hon.gif HONDURAS: Goalkeepers: Ricardo Canales, Noel Valladares, Donis Escober
Defenders: Victor Bernardez, Maynor Figueroa, Oscar Garcia, Sergio Mendoza, Emilio Izaguirre, Johnny Palacios, Mauricio Sabillon, Osman Chavez
Midfielders: Edgard Alvarez, Julio Cesar de Leon, Roger Espinoza, Amado Guevara, Ramon Nunez, Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas, Danilo Turcios
Forwards: David Suazo, Georgie Welcome, Carlos Pavon, Walter Martinez
Coach: Reinaldo Rueda

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/chi.gif CHILE: Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo, Luis Marín, Miguel Pinto
Defenders: Pablo Contreras, Ismael Fuentes, Mauricio Isla, Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel, Waldo Ponce
Midfielders: Jean Beausejour, Carlos Carmona, Marco Estrada, Matías Fernández, Arturo Vidal, Rodrigo Millar, Rodrigo Tello, Jorge Valdivia
Forwards: Mark González, Fabián Orellana, Esteban Paredes, Alexis Sánchez, Humberto Suazo, Gonzalo Fierro
Coach: Marcelo Bielsa

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/esp.gif SPAIN: Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes
Defenders: Raúl Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Joan Capdevila, Carlos Marchena, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta, Javier Martínez, David Silva, Xavi Hernandez
Forwards: Jesus Navas, Juanma Mata, Pedro Rodriguez, Fernando Llorente, Fernando Torres, David Villa
Coach: Vicente del Bosque

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/sui.gif SWITZERLAND:: Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio, Marco Wolfli, Johnny Leoni
Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner, Philippe Senderos, Stephane Grichting, Steve von Bergen, Mario Eggimann,Reto Ziegler, Christoph Spycher
Midfielders: Valon Behrami, Gokhan Inler, Benjamin Huggel, Pirmin Schwegler, Gelson Fernandes, Tranquillo Barnetta, Xherdan Shaqiri, Marco Padalino
Forwards: Alexander Frei, Blaise Nkufo, Eren Derdiyok, Marco Streller, Hakan Yakin
Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld

May 31, 2010, 08:55 AM
Good initiative. Will keep things organized. Viva la España!

May 31, 2010, 06:42 PM
Who or what is a Honduras? But seriously it makes me sad that a country with 7 million people can go and play in the World Cup finals and 160 million of us have to root for other teams. We should seriously consider a cross-breeding programme with Latinos. If successful they get a few decent cricketers and hadudu players (although I doubt they want any) and we get some footballers who can actually play. Most people won't realise the difference as we pretty much look the same. It's the one thing I want to see before I die - Bangladesh in a FIFA World Cup.

May 31, 2010, 11:01 PM
Who or what is a Honduras? But seriously it makes me sad that a country with 7 million people can go and play in the World Cup finals and 160 million of us have to root for other teams. We should seriously consider a cross-breeding programme with Latinos. If successful they get a few decent cricketers and hadudu players (although I doubt they want any) and we get some footballers who can actually play. Most people won't realise the difference as we pretty much look the same. It's the one thing I want to see before I die - Bangladesh in a FIFA World Cup.
Lmao. Make your own dream come true ;) Would be fun to see a blonde Bengali :D

And yeah, good thread, much easier to follow. Thanks Offstump :)

Its probably going to be Spain and Swiss. I dont think Honduras has a chance. And Chile is a mysterious team to me. Anything goes with this group :)

June 1, 2010, 02:03 AM
Viva la Espana!!!
My 2nd team after Brazil.
Infact, I'd be mighty glad if they win the cup, simply cuz Brazil have won it like a million times now.
Ideal WC final for me: Brazil V Spain.

The Swiss are more likely to sneak thru as well from this group.

June 1, 2010, 12:22 PM
Ideal WC final for me: Brazil V Spain

what about "North Korea vs South Korea"

June 1, 2010, 12:33 PM
^^ Then how about Australia Vs New Zealand.

The chances are same.

June 15, 2010, 11:40 PM
Chile expected to be hot stuff (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264074&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

Chile cruised through World Cup qualifying, finishing second behind Brazil in the CONMEBOL region, and great things are expected from La Roja in South Africa, including an opening victory against CONCACAF's lowest placed qualifiers Honduras.

Argentina-born manager Marcelo Bielsa has been the architect behind Chile's dramatic upturn in fortunes. Since taking control in 2007, El Loco has transformed an underachieving team into an attacking force with self belief and he will be hoping to improve on his performance as manager of Argentina at World Cup 2002, when he failed to reach the knock-out stages.

In a group that also features relative minnows Switzerland, Chile are expected to qualify as runners-up behind European champions Spain, but they may have to notch their first result without star striker Humberto Suazo, who is unlikely to be risked for the clash with Honduras as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Suazo smashed in ten goals during qualification to finish as the region's top scorer.

Honduras, on the other hand, only pipped Costa Rica for CONCACAF's final automatic qualification place on goal difference and have struggled to find their form in the build-up to only their second World Cup appearance. Coach Reinaldo Rueda will be banned from the touchline after being sent off in their final qualifier and his side have not won a game since beating USA 3-1 in January 2010, losing to Turkey, Venezuela and then Romania in their final warm-up match.

Honduras player in focus: Carlos Pavon. With Honduras expected to be on the back foot for much of the game it is vital that they have a release valve and Pavon will provide that. The striker has an exceptional aerial game to outjump his markers and can use his power to hold up the ball when it is pumped forwards. Strong, tall and lethal in the box, he will also provide a goal threat from set pieces.

Chile player in focus: Alexis Sanchez. This pacy Udinese forward has already established himself as a "wonderkid'" in his homeland and could do the same on a global stage. Sanchez is a player with great technique, who prefers to play in wide areas but can also get into the box and score goals, which is exactly what his national manager expects him to do. Playing in a front three allows him drift in and out of the box and find space in which to use his pace.

Key battle: Hendry Thomas v Matias Fernandez. Sporting Lisbon midfielder Fernandez acts as playmaker-in-chief for Bielsa's side and will see plenty of the ball. Charged with supplying the decisive passes to Chile's attacking trio, there will be huge pressure on him to deliver. Wigan's defensive midfielder Thomas specializes in the breaking up of opposition attacks and will be expected to stifle Fernandez.

Trivia: Honduras were in Spain's group during their only previous appearance at the World Cup, in 1982, and held the hosts to a 1-1 draw. the odds of that happening again are 15.00.

Stats: With ten World Cup qualifying wins in this campaign, Chile had more victories than in their previous two attempts combined - three wins in 2002 and five wins in 2006.

Odds: Honduras (6.00), the draw (3.75), Chile (1.61) with Bet365. Chile are favourites to win this match but there could be value to be found in a 0-0 draw at 9.00.

Prediction: Honduras will undoubtedly set their stall out to frustrate Chile, but with Bielsa's team committed to attack, 2-0 seems a likely outcome.

June 15, 2010, 11:43 PM
An irresistible force (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264073&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

There is no way to sugar the pill for poor old Switzerland: they don't stand a chance against Spain. Ottmar Hitzfeld's well-organised side are up against a team that have played with supreme self-belief since shedding their underachiever tag with victory at Euro 2008 and are favourites to win their first ever World Cup.

Spain have lost just one game in their last 48 - the Confederations Cup semi-final against USA - and booked their place in South Africa by winning all ten qualifying games with a brand of football so breath-taking that it has been labelled "art". Vicente Del Bosque's side have a midfield of such high quality that Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, who has been linked with a £40 million move to Barcelona, can't even get in it and they are blessed with similar strength in depth all over the pitch.

Switzerland have never won a game against Spain, losing 15 of their previous 18 meetings, and this is arguably the best La Furia Roja side there has ever been. Although Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and midfield maestro Andres Iniesta have only recently returned from injury, Del Bosque can simply call on the likes of Xabi Alonso and David Villa to step it up so the relentless Spanish machine is unlikely to miss a beat.

Switzerland will rely on a stout defence to stop the Spanish attack and will hope to repeat their feat at World Cup 2006 when they didn't concede a single goal, even if they still went out of the competition. With captain Alexander Frei injured and no other Swiss forward scoring a goal for the past five games, Hitzfeld's men will have to rip up the form book, pass it through a shredder and recycle it as confetti if they are to get a result in Durban.

Spain player in focus: David Silva. An outstanding player in his own right, Silva has been overshadowed by the exploits of Barcelona duo Xavi and Iniesta in midfield, but the Valencia star scored a wonder goal in Spain's 6-0 demolition of Poland in their final warm-up game and will be hoping to maintain that form in South Africa. He is almost certainly on the move after the World Cup so the eyes of potential suitors will be on him.

Switzerland player in focus: Blaise Nkufo. This Congo-born striker will be buoyed by his unexpected title success with Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente this season and, at 35, the veteran has plenty of experience to call on to try and ruffle the feathers of Spain centre-backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. He finished the qualifying campaign as Switzerland's top scorer, with five goals, and will head to new club Seattle Sounders as a hero if he can make his mark.

Key battle: David Villa v Philipe Senderos. Barcelona, who know a thing or two about decent strikers, have just spent £34 million to sign Villa, who smashed in 21 Primera Liga goals this season, from Valencia. He finished Euro 2008 as the tournament's top scorer and after netting seven times in qualifying he will have his eyes on the Golden Boot in South Africa. Hoping to stop one of Europe's most fearsome strikers is new Fulham defender Senderos. Unfortunately for Switzerland the centre back has hardly kicked a ball this season and spent the second half of the Premier League campaign on loan at Everton, watching from the stands.

Trivia: Switzerland were surprise winners of the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria but none of the triumphant starlets have made it into Hitzfeld's World Cup squad.

Stats: Spain have won their last seven group games at the World Cup. Switzerland's five-game winning streak in qualifying was the longest in their history during World Cup qualifying.

Odds: Spain (1.25), the draw (5.50), Switzerland (13.00) with Bet365. The odds on Spain to win are terrible, but David Villa to score anytime and Spain to win 4-0 offers 16.00.

Prediction: Spain are superior in every department and if La Furia Roja don't win this game it will be the shock of the World Cup.

June 20, 2010, 11:06 PM
Winner takes all in Group H
After two impressive 1-0 wins in their first games, Switzerland and Chile find themselves in the odd position of fighting it out for a place in the second round already. A win will virtually guarantee progress and both teams will be keen to avoid leaving it up to Spain to decide who makes it through.

Two more contrasting styles could not be found, given their opening games. The Swiss, defensive to the last and with only two meaningful attacking moves to their name, against one of the most impressive attacking forces seen at this year's World Cup.

Their preparations, too, have contrasting fortunes as Swiss defender Philippe Senderos looks set to miss the rest of the tournament with an ankle injury, while Chile's leading striker Humberto Suazo will return after recovering from the hamstring strain that threatened his participation. Winner takes all.

Chile player to watch: Alexis Sanchez: The Wonder Boy showed his full repertoire of tricks and flicks in the win over Honduras. His work on the right wing impressed no end and he was the focal point of the Chilean attack. Once again, he will work his magic and try to make his mark in the final third. A very tough player to mark.

Switzerland player to watch: Gokhan Inler. After beating Spain with the famous 'anti-football' we've seen from sides in the past, Switzerland had midfielder enforcer Inler to thank for keeping a clean sheet. His tackling, strength and domination of the central areas will play a part in breaking up the Chile attacks.

Key Battle: Humberto Suazo v Stephane Grichting: The talisman for Chile, Suazo, should feature in their most important game of the group and will be raring to go after nearly missing the tournament due to injury. He was the highest scorer from any confederation in qualifying and boasts pace and a great eye for goal. With Senderos ruled out, the onus falls on tough Auxerre defender Grichting to stop him. Powerful and committed, Gritchting held off the likes of David Villa and Fernando Torres so Suazo should prove easy by comparison, as long as he doesn't get complacent.

Trivia: The Swiss only managed 132 touches in the opposition half in their victory over Spain, fewer than any other side in the first round.

Stats: Chile's opening 1-0 win over Honduras was their first victory at a World Cup outside of South America, while Switzerland have yet to record a victory against a South American side at a World Cup.

Odds: Chile (2.30), Switzerland (3.40), the draw (3.10) are all on offer at Bet365, but if you think it'll be 0-0 then you'll pick up 6.50.

Prediction: A draw would be a bad result for both sides, although possibly Switzerland would fancy it more with Honduras to come. One feels that the Swiss may attack more now that the Spain game is behind them, and that may open a few doors for Chile.

June 20, 2010, 11:09 PM
Spain aiming to bounce back (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264075&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

Having been upset 1-0 by Switzerland in their opener, favourites Spain face a must-win game against the minnows of Honduras, knowing that another shock defeat effectively ends their hopes of progressing.

The Spanish boast some of the world's best players, but their team unit failed to fire against the Swiss and there have been questions raised over the morale of the squad. WAGs, tactics and tiredness have all been blamed for Spain's demise, but they will have to dig deep to bounce back, and quickly, if they are to make an impact on the tournament.

Standing in their way are the lowly Hondurans, who defended stoically but still lost to Chile 1-0, and if they were to pull off a draw, it would represent the greatest moment in their footballing history. Led by Tottenham's Wilson Palacios, there is a lack of quality through the side, but there is no substitute for team spirit and, with Spain rattled, anything can happen.

Spain player to watch: David Silva: He did not have an impact on the side against Switzerland and was replaced by Jesus Navas, but his quality is unquestioned and he should have the confidence to bounce back against Honduras. A tricky winger with pace and skill on the ball, he should command respect on the right side of midfield.

Honduras player to watch: Noel Valladares. If Honduras are to hold off the Spanish attacks, then their last line of defence, the goalkeeper, will have to be at his best. Pulling off the save of the tournament so far against Chile, his reflexes and agility will be tested to the limit and if he can deny the likes of David Villa and Fernando Torres, then he will have earned his crust.

Key Battle: Xavi v Wilson Palacios: The best playmaker in world football was kept quiet against the Swiss, but has the skill and experience to make an impact on any game, at any time. His passing range is unmatched and Palacios will have to marshal him carefully if Honduras are to avoid conceding a goal. Xavi's awareness of what is going on around him gives him the vision to pick out a killer pass, but Palacios will match him for stamina and has the power and strength to assert his will on any opponent.

Trivia: Honduras are the only Central American football team to eliminate Brazil in a tournament (Copa America 2001 in the quarter-finals), so they are used to causing upsets.

Stats: Spain's defeat against Switzerland was the first time that they have lost with Andres Iniesta in the starting line-up.

Odds: Spain (1.12), Honduras (23.00), the draw (9.00) are all on offer at Bet365, but Fernando Torres to score three or more comes in at 23.00.

Prediction: Surely it can't happen again? Spain have the power to overcome their opponents and it could be a high scoring game.

June 21, 2010, 03:37 PM
this grooup shapes up like this

Chile: top of the goup but needs to draw or win the last game as a loss maytake them out if swiss win agaisnt honduras. beat if swiss cant win agaisnt honduras chile are through.

spain: a win will take them through, with superior GD, if swiss dont win, they can go through with a draw,

swiss: if they win they should go through. if spain loss, a draw will be good enough.

honduras: if chile beats spain, the by beating swiss big, they may surprise and go through

June 22, 2010, 04:48 AM
Not only has Spain shot itself in the foot by losign to Switzerland, they haev screwed up the Chileans' hopes as well.

It would be a shame if Chile went out after winning twice.

June 22, 2010, 07:43 AM
Not only has Spain shot itself in the foot by losign to Switzerland, they haev screwed up the Chileans' hopes as well.

It would be a shame if Chile went out after winning twice.

even if chile lose 1-0 and swiss wil 1-0, the smallest of margins chile could be in danger....

am still not sure actually what will be the tie breaking criteria if teamsa are locked on same points. GD, goal scored or result between teams which comes first.have to do some research now.

if chile goes out on GD then they will have only themselves to blame as both the games that they won 1-0 they should have won by 3 goals or more. they missed lots of easy chances

June 24, 2010, 03:58 PM
Swiss going for goals (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264077&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

After a humiliating home defeat to Luxembourg in qualification, Switzerland are still in with a strong chance of making the second round and dumping pre-tournament favourites Spain or Marcelo Bielsa's impressive Chile side out at the first hurdle.

The Swiss currently sit third in the group, level on three points with Spain but trailing by a goal, and they are two goals and three points behind Chile. However, with Spain and Chile having to take points - and goals - from each other, a 2-0 win will be enough to see Switzerland through.

Switzerland boss Ottmar Hitzfeld is one of the great tacticians at this summer's World Cup, but he will need to ensure his players show creativity and guile as well as a clinical touch to ensure they add to their solitary goal to date. Valon Behrami will not be available following his dismissal against Chile, but Tranquillo Barnetta looks likely to return to the side and should be a strong replacement.

Honduras, meanwhile, have a number of players in elite leagues but have done little to defy suggestions they were among the weaker of the 32 teams to have reached the finals. Coach Reinaldo Rueda has signalled that he wants his team to win but also said they must emerge from the finals with dignity. It will be interesting to see whether the need to preserve dignity overtakes the desire for victory if they fall behind early on.

Switzerland player to watch: Diego Benaglio. Honduras are desperate to restore some pride in their final game, so the Swiss can expect more ambition from their opponents in the early stages at least. Wolfsburg goalkeeper Benaglio has been hugely impressive against attack-minded Spain and Chile so far and, if he can keep another clean sheet, Switzerland have a great opportunity to reach the second stage.

Honduras player to watch: David Suazo. This 30-year-old Inter Milan striker has spent over a decade playing in Italy but, since leaving Cagliari in 2007, he has struggled for goals and he spent 2010 on loan at Genoa. Injury problems have hindered his preparations for the tournament and he missed the opener against Chile with a leg problem, but he returned against Spain and, with 84 minutes under his belt in that game, Honduras will be desperate for Suazo to recover some form and give the country something to celebrate.

Key Battle: Eren Derdiyok v Maynor Figueroa. With captain Alexander Frei still struggling for fitness, Derdiyok could lead the line for Switzerland ahead of him and veteran striker Blaise Nkufo. Derdiyok has a very poor goal-scoring record at international level, but the 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen man is strong and stands at 6' 3" and will be a nuisance at the least. Wigan left-back Figueroa, meanwhile, is known for attacking contributions in England but has been playing in the centre for his country, so he will need to stay focused.

Trivia: Honduras squad members David Suazo and Hendry Thomas are cousins.

Stats: In their previous meeting with a CONCACAF side at the World Cup, Switzerland drew 1-1 draw with USA in the '94 group stage.

Odds: Switzerland (1.50), New Zealand (7.00) and a draw (4.20) are all available at Bet 365. You can get odds of 9.50 on a 3-0 win for Switzerland.

Prediction: Switzerland are perhaps better at grinding out results than going on the attack, but Honduras have done little so far in South Africa. Goals may prove vital in the final reckoning, so a substantial Swiss win is on the cards.

June 24, 2010, 04:03 PM
Del Bosque's Spain at risk of early departure (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264078&cc=4716&ver=global)

his much-anticipated match between two stylish sides in Pretoria could prove to be a tense affair as Group H comes to a convoluted conclusion. With one game remaining, both Chile and Spain could top the group, qualify in second or take an early flight home. A dramatic contest awaits.

For Spain, a premature exit is unthinkable, but all too possible. Vicente del Bosque's side came into the tournament as favourites but an opening defeat to Switzerland has put their campaign in jeopardy. While a win guarantees them a place in the second round, la Furia Roja must be wary of Switzerland, who are level on three points at present. With Ottmar Hitzfeld's side expected to beat Honduras, a draw against Chile could prove terminal for the Spanish.

It would be a huge shock if a team boasting the most technically-gifted midfield in world football and the attacking talents of David Villa and Fernando Torres were to be eliminated, but that is the scenario haunting Del Bosque. Relief comes with the news that Andres Iniesta is likely to return from injury and he could replace Jesus Navas in an advanced role.

Meanwhile, despite winning their opening two games, Chile have not guaranteed qualification and they will be eliminated if they lose and Switzerland beat Honduras while making up a goal difference deficit of two. Marcelo Bielsa's side are also deprived of Matias Fernandez and Carlos Carmona due to suspension, so there is real cause for concern.

Chile player to watch: Alexis Sanchez. Hardly an original choice given he has been his country's standout performer in wins over Honduras and Switzerland, but Friday's game gives Sanchez the chance to make his mark on one of the tournament favourites. Blessed with pace and superior technique, the winger is a dazzling presence in the Chile side and rumours of a possible move to Real Madrid are likely to gather pace if he can unlock Spain.

Spain player to watch: Iker Casillas. Not long ago, Casillas was regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the world but his reputation has taken a minor battering of late. His performances in South Africa have been unconvincing and with Chile impressing in their first two victories, the Real Madrid 'keeper may have to rediscover his best form if his country are to progress to the knockout stages. Though he is a favourite of Vicente del Bosque, Casillas needs to prove why he is chosen ahead of Jose Reina and Victor Valdes.

Key battle: Claudio Bravo v David Villa. The Chile 'keeper has only had to make three saves in the tournament so far following 1-0 wins over Honduras and Switzerland, and in Villa he comes up against one of the premier predators in world football. Villa scored twice in a 2-0 defeat of Honduras, the first a superb finish, and having missed the chance to claim a hat-trick when poking a penalty wide, he will be looking to make amends and improve his chances of winning the Golden Boot. He is available after FIFA took no action following his spat with Emilio Izaguirre of Honduras.

Trivia: If Spain and Switzerland both win, then three teams will finish level on six points. No team has ever been knocked out with six points in the history of the World Cup. When wins were worth two points, Algeria were knocked out with four points following an infamous 1-0 win for West Germany against Austria that saw both teams qualify.

Stats: Having not won a World Cup game for 48 years, Chile are now looking to make it three from three in the group stage.

Odds: Chile (7.00), the draw (4.20) and Spain (1.50) with Bet365 A 2-2 draw is 21.00.

Prediction: Spain surely have too much class to go home this early. They will dig out a win, but only just.

June 25, 2010, 03:33 PM
spain and chile goes through