Switzerland vs Honduras – Swiss win creates Mexican standoff
From his place on the sidelines Ottmar Hitzfeld remains the key man for Switzerland, as they aim to once again unexpectedly top a World Cup group. Their match with Honduras kicks off at 7.30pm.
The German manager got his tactics spot on to generate the biggest shock of the tournament so far by beating the favourites in their opening game and he knows a decent win in his side’s final match could put them through in first, just like four years ago.
If they defeat Honduras by two more goals than Spain beat Chile, the Swiss will peak out above a trio on six points by virtue of a superior scoring record.
After two ultra-defensive displays though – the second enforced after a first-half sending off – there is a question over whether Hitzfeld can switch his side from a conservative to attacking mode.
Yet looking at his record at club level suggests such a change of pace will be masterminded.
At Borussia Dortmund he won the Champions League in 1997 having tactically out-foxed Sir Alex Ferguson with two 1-0 wins in the semis, before sending out a forward-thinking team to dispose of Juventus 3-1 in the final.
He followed that up by becoming only the second man to manage two different teams to a European Cup title by doing it with Bayern Munich in 2001, utilising a similar blueprint for success.
With record scorer Alexander Frei, who has 40 goals in 73 games, bound to play a large part in the game (having been sacrificed last time out), Blaise Nkufo looking impressive in performing a solo role, and Albert Bunjaku and Eren Derdiyok for back-up, Switzerland do have goals in them.
Frei and Nkufo are 5/1 joint favourites to score first.
But they only once netted more than two goals in a match during qualification match and that will be a concern.
A clean sheet for Switzerland seems assured, though – Honduras have only scored in one of their last six games. It’s a 4/5 chance.
The 2-0 win will see the Swiss guaranteed of progressing at least in second place and that seems a likey outcome at 6/1 in the correct score market. A mere 1-0 leaves them perilously close to elimination and that’s a 5/1 shot.
Can Switzerland do just enough to go through or will they walz it? 3-0 is 10/1. Can they become the victims of another World Cup shock. Honduras are 10/1 to win 1-0. See the full Switzerland v Honduras match betting market.