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Honduras vs Chile – top scorer Suazo should start on bench

| 15.06.2010

Injury concerns cloud the preparations of both Honduras and Chile ahead of their opening World Cup match, which kicks off at 12.30pm on Wednesday in Nelspruit.

For the South Americans (50/1 to win the World Cup) doubts linger over the fitness of their star striker Humberto Suazo, who finished top of their qualification scoring chart with 10 goals.

It looks likely he will be consigned to beginning on the bench after treatment on a hamstring injury means he is not yet 100 per cent fit.

Such is Suazo’s potency (18 goals in 42 internationals), though, it may be worth a bet on him to score at any time should he come off the bench. It’s an evens bet while he is also 11/4 finish the country’s top scorer.

Honduras meanwhile, have their own worries over a Suazo. David (no relation) is a key forward for the Central Americans but has been struggling with a thigh injury.

Boss Reinaldo Rueda had his plans further disrupted when experienced midfielder Julio Cesar de Leon broke down in training. The Torino player is to undergo a hamstring scan and is now rated doubtful for his side’s World Cup opener.

Tottenham’s Wilson Palacios, Honduras’ most recognisable player, looks to have recovered from his knock though.

With the talent Chile possess they should win this one with minimum fuss, making it their first victory at the Finals for 48 years. It’s 4/7.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team have won their last three matches without conceding a goal and scoring seven.

Honduras haven’t won in five, losing 3-0 to Romania last time out. They did beat USA 3-1 in a January friendly though but such a result here is a justifiably lengthy 66/1 – it would be Honduras’ first ever win at the World Cup.

In Humberto Suazo’s absence Chile should go with Esteban Paredes up front in a three-man attack, but it is Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez who should be kept an eye on. The 21-year-old could make a name for himself at this summer’s tournament and is 11/2 to score first here.

Despite going with an unconventional three at the back Chile should keep a clean sheet – at 4/5 – and a likely score would be 2-0, it’s 11/2.

Betting on under 2.5 goals at 8/13 also seems wise given the tournament’s propensity for negative affairs thus far.

Can Honduras spring a major surprise? They are 5/1 to win while the draw is 11/4. See the full Honduras v Chile betting market.



John Klee