What: FIFA 2010 World Cup 2010
Who: Spain vs Honduras (Group H)
When: Monday 21st June, 2010, at 19:30 UK Time
Where: Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

A Slap in the Face

Spain had to endure the unwanted tag of being the first big team title contender to endure an upset during this World Cup. With all the signs pointing towards Spanish success, Vicente del Bosque’s team crumbled, eventually losing 1-0 against their Swiss foes.

It’s not that the Spaniards played horribly during their opening match: the armada gathered more than two thirds of possession and bombarded their opponents’ goal, but it just wasn’t their day against the resilient Alpines, who earned a priceless three points.

Now, Spain has to find their groove and get back to winning ways should they want to hang on to any hopes of qualifying for the next round. Should they lose again however, and Switzerland defeat Chile, then it will be curtains for the Euro 2008 champions.

No Better Luck

Honduras had to endure the same fate as their opponents during their first game, losing to fellow South Americans Chile by the same score of 1-0. Level on points therefore with the Spanish national team, Honduras will have high hopes should they defeat the Iberians.

The central Americans could use the same approach that Switzerland put to play when facing the Spaniards. However, it is really anybody’s guess as to how La Furia Roja will respond after their Swiss embarrassment and as such, Honduras’ plan could prove to be futile.

Honduras have already started the war of words against the Seleccion, with their coach Reinaldo Rueda going as far as to belittle the European Champions by calling Chile “the group’s best team”. Rueda however, could be forced to eat his words should his team be the victims of a sleeping giant that suddenly awakes.

Recent form

Spain 1-0 South Korea (03/06; Friendly)
Spain 6-0 Poland (08/06; Friendly)
Spain 0-1 Switzerland (16/06; World Cup – Group H)

Honduras 0-0 Azerbaijan (02/06; Friendly)
Honduras 0-3 Romania (05/06; Friendly)
Honduras 0-1 Chile (16/06; World Cup – Group H)

Players to watch

Spain – Xabi Alonso: The midfield kingpin was at the centre of his team’s play against the Swiss, dictating motion and distributing all over the pitch. His thunderous effort was only denied by the crossbar, and he will make sure that doesn’t happen against Honduras.

Honduras – Wilson Palacios: The Tottenham player is one of Honduras’ key players. After an average start against Chile, Palacios will be looking to up his game and excel for his country, raising his value across Europe and possibly leading to a cohort of suitors.

Match prediction

It is hard to picture Spain losing for a second consecutive time. The last time they did was at the Confederations Cup, and embarked afterwards on a glorious run. Honduras might impose a test of nerves when facing La Roja, but the 1964 Euro winners will have what it takes to overcome that and record their first win of the tournament.

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