The FourFourTwo Preview: Honduras vs Switzerland
Switzerland's chance to qualify in second place.
The Swiss have endured mixed fortunes during Brazil 2014. Having showed the strength of character to snatch a late win against Ecuador in their opening game, they rolled over and died against a resurgent French team.
Despite that 5-2 drubbing, all is not lost: they currently lie in third place, behind Ecuador on goal difference who are unlikely to win against Didier Deschamps' technically superior unit. A win against Group E wooden spoons Honduras will push them through.
The South Americans won't go down without a fight, however - and we mean that literally. So far they have been earmarked as the tournament's feistiest side, kicking lumps out of both France and Ecuador without really looking like grabbing a point for their efforts.
While still mathematically in the running for second spot, it would require a result of big margins for them to make it. This could make for a bruising encounter.
What the local media say
"Honduras tuned some details before travelling to Manaus. During the week (Luis Fernando Suarez) worked with the same XI he'd pitted against Ecuador and produced nine clear chances on goal. One question is whether or not to use Wilson Palacios, as Jorge Claros had an outstanding performance in Curitiba. For Palacios, available after being sent off against France, it would be normal because the team played well." - El Heraldo.
"Switzerland's Steve von Bergen will miss the rest of the World Cup after fracturing his left eye socket in their 5-2 defeat to France, the Swiss football association confirmed on Saturday. He had to be helped off with a deep cut over his eye and was taken to hospital where a scan revealed the extent of his injury. 'I have the deepest sympathy for Von Bergen, he's been an important player for us,' said Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. 'The team will play for him now and try to give him some joy from this World Cup.'" - The Local.
Key battle: Emilio Izaguirre vs Xherdan Shaqiri
Nicknamed "The Alpine Messi" and "The Magic Dwarf", the Bayern Munich winger has cut a frustrating figure during a season where he has fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola.
Shaqiri has been threatening in flashes this tournament without really catching fire, but against a Honduras team who have been generous in defence (they've conceded five in two games), he could profit. Celtic's Izaguirre will have to be on his toes to stop that from happening.
Facts and figures
- This will be the second ever meeting between these sides.
- Switzerland have never lost against a CONCACAF team at World Cup (W1 D2).
- Honduras have played 8 World Cup games without a win (D3 L5). They have played more matches at the World Cup without winning than any other side (New Zealand, El Salvador and Bolivia – 6).
More FFT Stats Zone facts
Switzerland to cruise into the second round with a 3-0 win.