Preview: Honduras vs Switzerland
Group E is one of those rare groups at these finals that will go into its final round of matches with all sides still in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Honduras may have finally recorded a goal at a World Cup after Carlo Costly scored in their 2-1 loss to Ecuador but they need more goals in this game. They will need to beat Switzerland and hope that France thump Ecuador sufficiently to swing goal difference in their favour.
They come into this match with no points after losing their first two games. They still technically have a chance thanks to Ecuador and Switzerland only managing three points each. Should they finish second then they will be the first nation in World Cup history to qualify for the knockout stages despite losing their first two games.
Ottmar Hitzfeld and his Switzerland side will try their best to make sure that the group will be concluded differently. Switzerland drew 0-0 against Honduras in South Africa and both sides ended up getting knocked out in the group stages. They will be eager to have a better ending this time.
Switzerland will be optimistic of their chances of progressing as they will expect France to collect maximum points against Ecuador, which would allow both European sides to both qualify for the round of 16.
Ecuador team news
Wilson Palacios returns from suspension after the midfielder was sent-off in the first half against France.
Victor Bernardez, Jerry Bengtson, Luis Garrido and Boniek Garcia are all a booking away from suspension should Honduras make it to the knockout stages.
Switzerland team news
Steve Von Bergen suffered an eye injury against France and was consequently sent home.
Philippe Senderos and Fabian Schar will both be in contention to partner Johan Djourou in central defence.
Honduras manager Luis Suarez will send his side out in their usual 4-4-2 formation, with Bengtson and Costly as the two strikers.
Honduras’ system of playing direct football with long passes directed at their powerful striker Costly could give Switzerland problems as they struggled to deal with those kind of balls against France.
Switzerland will have to take the initiative in this game. Hitzfeld’s side have a good chance of qualifying for the knockout stages because of France’s form, so they can approach this game with an attacking philosophy to break down the Hondurans.
They can expect physical opponents who are not afraid to use their strength in bullying the opposition. Switzerland can use that aggressive tendency as an opportunity to win free kicks in dangerous areas with the tricky players they have.
Xherdan Shaqiri will be key for the Swiss with his sharp turns, low centre of gravity and ability to receive the ball in tight areas. Hitzfeld’s side will need to get the ball to the Bayern Munich midfielder as much as they can.
Both sides may have a chance to qualify but Switzerland have more to lose, so they would do with an early goal otherwise the game could get awkward for them in the later stages.