Tournament favorites Spain will look to get their 2010 World Cup campaign back on track when they take on a weak Honduras side in Group H action. Just five days after an unthinkable meltdown to Switzerland, Spain will be anxious to obtain a convincing victory in Johannesburg.
The reigning European champions entered South Africa amid the highest of expectations. Perhaps being the odds-on favorite to capture the trophy on July 11th will make you a tad nervous, but nobody could’ve predicted such a putrid showing against a weak Switzerland side. Facing Honduras, another supposed weak squad should help the powerful Spaniards bounce back and find their game as they ease into tournament action.
Honduras meanwhile commenced their trip to South Africa with an expected loss to an exciting side from Chile. Although it was only a 1-0 defeat, the Hondurans were vastly outplayed, failed to generate any prime scoring opportunities, and couldn’t maintain their offensive attacks. If they couldn’t perform well against Chile, it will be drastically more difficult against a hungry Spanish side anxiously seeking redemption.
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Spain vs Honduras Odds:
Keys to the Game:
Spain will have 90 minutes to seek revenge on a vulnerable Honduras team simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, the Spaniards will have to harness their emotions in the right way or else they could become unraveled and be exploited by some of Honduras’ more effective players. They will also need to establish their attacking game early versus Honduras, in an attempt to set the tempo for the initial stages of the match. One solution to the stagnant Spanish attack will be re-inserting lethal finisher Fernando Torres into the starting lineup. Torres, who has been battling knee issues in the lead-up to the World Cup, was substituted on in the 60th minute against the Swiss and looked dangerous in his half-hour of action. A full game of Torres, alongside David Villa should stretch the limits of a surprisingly strong Honduran back-line in this must-win game.
Conversely, Honduras will have to remain focused in the early stages of the match. Weathering the inevitable onslaught Spain will surely deliver will be imperative to obtaining a favorable result. It will be crucial that the Hondurans get by these early stages of the match, and ease into the game as it progresses. The main factor in the Hondurans achieving a point here will be the performance of their defenders against an impressive array of Spanish triggermen. Their back-line, along with key defensive midfielder Wilson Palacios, will need to be heroic in suppressing the time and space of their creative Spanish opponents. If Honduras does generate any chances on the attack, they’ll have to do so again without their most lethal striker, David Suazo. It’s believed he will be out for yet another match as he struggles to heal from a right thigh injury. Despite the odds clearly stacked against them, head coach Reinaldo Rueda believes that “Honduras can give more. We have the strength to withstand the demands of Spain.” His sentiments are highly doubtful, but still possible based on the underachieving tendencies of the Spaniards.
What To Expect:
Despite a poor start to their South African trip, Spain will rebound in grand fashion against a Honduras side in over its head. Honduras does possess a strong lineup that will battle with the Spaniards, but don’t expect their back-line to effective stifle the myriad of weapons in Spain’s arsenal. Look for new inclusions to the starting lineup such as Fernando Torres, and perhaps even Cesc Fabregas to ignite a lackluster Spanish side. And don’t be surprised to see Spain seize the game in the early going, putting a quick two on the board in the first half. Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque realizes his side have dug themselves a big hole with their opening match defeat, and will not only need to win games, but do so convincingly, in order to achieve their goal of finishing first in a now wide-open Group H.
Spain vs Honduras Prediction: Spain 3 – Honduras 0
From a betting perspective the odds on Spain to win at the moment aren’t all that appetizing. Currently priced at -750, perhaps look for other more enticing options. Spain’s Half-Time/Full-Time odds are listed at a generous -220, and if you’re too impatient to wait the full 90 minutes for your money, take Spain to be winning at the half at -225. Although both alternatives force you to lay significant chalk, remember the mindset of Spain. They will be hungry in the early stages of the fixture, with their sights keenly set on embarrassing their Honduran opponents.
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