World Cup Odds and Betting Picks: Honduras Vs. Chile Preview and Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 6/14/2010
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Outside of the host nation and some excitable African squads, few teams in the World Cup field will be tapping as much emotional reserve as the team from Chile.
Less than four months removed from one of the most devastating natural disasters in the South American nation’s history, the Chilean team will hope to send some shockwaves through Group H in the 2010 World Cup at South Africa. And while the country is still rebuilding infrastructure from an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in February, I’m certain that the whole country will take time to watch Chile take on Honduras in the opening match for each squad.
The two teams meet at 7:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, June 16 in Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Chile is ranked No. 18 in the world while Honduras is No. 38.
These two regional rivals have faced off four times in the last decade with each club earning two victories. The most recent meeting was a match in January of 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, which Honduras won 2-0. In that game Honduras played 11-v-10 for the last 55 minutes and capitalized with two late goals.
Chile will again be shorthanded heading into this meeting. La Roja will be without its leading scorer from qualifying in this opening match. Forward Humberto Suazo was injured in a June friendly win over Israel. The Chileans should benefit from his services later in the tournament but will need to find someone to pick up the slack against their first opponent.
This game may be between teams from the same neighborhood but there is no doubt that Chile hails from a more difficult region and has performed better recently. They are 8-1-1 since last September and have won three matches since late May, beating Zambia (3-0) and then taking down Northern Ireland (1-0) and Israel (3-0) in the same day.
Honduras, on the other hand, is just 2-6-2 in that same time frame. They haven’t won since a 2-1 home victory over Latvia last November. And in the last few weeks they’ve had to scrounge draws with Belarus and Azerbaijan.
Chile’s coach, Marcelo Bielsa, is the former Argentina head. He has molded this Chile club into an aggressive, attacking squad in the mold of his former team. The results were obvious in qualifying with Chile tallying 32 goals. That total was eight more than Paraguay and nine more than Argentina and it helped La Roja to a second place finish in their region.
Chile doesn’t have experience and is a young team. But Bielsa should be able to have them prepared.
Honduras is “just happy to be here” and is making just its second World Cup appearance. They are playing with house money – capitalizing on kind of fluke circumstances to even qualify – and they won’t be around after the group stage. They are one of the weakest teams in the field.
But since they are here this team will likely go for broke. They are facing a team that they are somewhat familiar with and, after all, they did qualify to be in this field. There is very little that is distinct about their style but Honduras will have to hope for a little luck in order to steal some valuable points. They have beaten their opponent recently. So while most prognostications have them as the designated whipping boy in this group, they should have at least some confidence in going against a familiar foe.
Chile plays a 3-3-1-3, with midfielder Matias Fernandez in the role of attacking midfielder (the “1”). Chile wants to press the action and continuously put pressure on the opposing defense. Honduras relies on a defensive-minded 4-4-2, but one of their weaknesses is that their fullbacks are a bit slow. That’s not a good matchup for the speed of Chile.
Both of these teams enter this game with virtually no world-class chops. Honduras is playing in just its second-ever World Cup while Chile hasn’t been to this stage since 1998. Both teams are relatively young and this one should be decided by which squad is able to stabilize itself the quickest and stick to its tactical game plan.
Honduras vs. Chile World Cup Odds:
Chile is a significant favorite in this matchup at -165. They are also available at -1 (+100). Honduras resides at +450 on the money line and +1 (-130) with the spread. The Draw pays out +265 and the total is 2.5.
Honduras vs. Chile Picks and Predictions:
Honduras Will Win If: They can take advantage of a suspect Chile defense. Honduras managed two goals in the last meeting. And if they can meet that number again they will earn three points. Chile wants to sell out on the attack and their backs aren’t good enough to compensate. Honduras is big and physical in the back. So if they can muscle up against their opponents and deflect some chances that could lead to some run outs.
Chile Will Win If: They score early. With two inexperienced teams the club that can gain the early momentum will have a significant upper hand. Chile is the better team here. They have a better coach, more talent, and a better approach. If they can get a first half goal they could put the squeeze on an opponent that may start doubting if they even belong in this field. Their quick forwards and creative midfield should provide opportunities. But without a proven scorer up front someone needs to seize the reigns of the offense and punch something through for this team to gain some confidence of its own.
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