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Both Switzerland and Honduras enter Friday’s Group H match off a loss, but the Swiss still have a real chance to advance with a victory here and Spain beating Chile by enough goals. If that occurred then Switzerland, Spain and Chile would all tie atop the group with six points if the former two win Friday.
Honduras is at the bottom of the group and was all but eliminated following its 2-0 defeat by the Spaniards.
Of course the Swiss pulled off arguably the upset of this tournament by beating Spain in their opener – only Spain’s second loss in its past 50 matches at the time. However, Switzerland’s impenetrable defense was beaten in the 75th minute by Chile in the last match when the Swiss were down to 10 men. Before Chile’s Mark Gonzalez found the net, the Swiss had gone 551 World Cup minutes without allowing a goal, breaking the mark of 550 held by Italy at the 1986 and 1990 tournaments.
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Switzerland was a man down starting in the 31st minute of that one when midfielder Valon Behrami was sent off for rough play against Arturo Vidal. Thus he is out for this match.
"For me, it was just an unbelievable decision," Behrami said in published reports. "There was small contact with my hands on his neck, and he went down like [he was hit with] an elbow. Everyone can make a mistake, but this mistake was very, very big for me because it's a dream to play in a World Cup."
Certainly the Schweizer Nati should be much more offensively aggressive here as against Chile they completed only 55.6 percent of their passes, the worst rate of any team since 1966. The Swiss also completed the fewest number of passes, 114, of any team in that time.
Switzerland got star Alexander Frei back against Chile after he missed the World Cup opener, but key defender Philippe Senderos sat out that match with an ankle injury and also will miss this one.
This match sure looks like a low-scoring affair, as Honduras has a World Cup-low one shot on target in its first two games, while the Swiss have five total goals in their past eight World Cup games and just one goal in their past seven overall international matches.
Honduras hasn’t won its past seven international matches and has failed to score in six of them. It couldn’t contain Spain’s David Villa in the last match, as he was a missed penalty kick from the tournament’s second hat trick. Honduras had just three touches inside Spain’s 18-yard box compared to 54 for the world’s second-ranked team.
Switzerland vs. Honduras World Cup Odds:
Honduras is the +1 underdog to win (Even) and the Swiss are -1 (-130). If you wager with the draw, Honduras is +600, the Swiss -220 and a draw at +300. The total is 2.5, with the under a -135 favorite. Odds are courtesy of Bodog and Sports Interaction.
Switzerland vs. Honduras Picks and Predictions:
Switzerland will win if: Well, the Swiss obviously need to win so expect an attacking lineup. Certainly the loss of Behrami hurts some, but Frei should now be closer to 100 percent health and help provide more offense for a side that needs plenty of it Friday.
Honduras will win if: Frankly, a draw probably is the best this side can expect with the Swiss so duly motivated. Honduras has been probably the most offensively inept team in this World Cup and that’s obviously not just a current trend with its recent international failures.
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