Apr 30, 2010
Group H has the reigning 2010 World Cup favourites Spain engaged and they are up against Switzerland, Honduras and Chile.
The winners of this group will play the runners-up of Group G, while the second placed team in Group H will meet the winner of Group G.
Spain is littered with talent and it’s hard to believe that their best performance at the World Cup was a fourth place in 1950.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque has built a squad ready to take the next step at the 2010 World Cup, with Fernando Torres up front, Gerard Piqué down back, plus the influence of Xavi Hernandez at the fore.
Spain comes to this tournament well equipped to to take home their holy grail and they won all 10 qualifying matches averaging nearly 3 goals a game, while only conceding just the 5 themselves.
Recently friendlies for Spain include wins over Saudi Arabia (3-2) with goals to David Villa, Xabi Alonso and Fernando Llorente. The Spaniards then defeated South Korea (1-0) with Jesus Navas finding the net. Spain smashed Poland (6-0) in their final practice game on Tuesday 8th June with David Villa grabbing two goals for the Spanish team.
The Spanish team are deserved favourites but they will have to overcome the aggressiveness of the more dominant teams to go all the way and up until now they have not been able to. Will 2010 be their year?
Switzerland has reached the Quarter Finals of the World Cup on three occasions in 1934, 1938 and 1954, and the Swiss struggled in the qualifying rounds, only claiming qualification with a draw in their final match.
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has Alexander Frei, Diego Benaglio and Tranquillo Barnetta who will give their all for the team and Switzerland will be more than competitive in this group.
Switzerland recent practice matches include a loss to Costa Rica (1-0) and a handy draw with Italy (1-1) with the goal scorer Gökhan Inler.
Bookies have the Swiss finishing third, but they are capable on their day and could push for second spot if luck goes their way.
Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda employed a defensive brand of football on the qualification trail and they are now entering their second World Cup with a desire to be more than just group fillers, and an eye on getting to the next round.
The evergreen Carlos Pavon, leading goalscorer for his country, will be keen to impress on the world stage, while David Suazo and Amado Guevara add much to an improving side.
Honduras latest warm up matches include a draw with Belarus (2-2) and Azerbaijan (0-0) and a three goal loss to Romania (3-0) which is not very encouraging form coming into the World Cup. Julio Leon and Georgie Welcome managed goals against Belarus.
Bookies feel Honduras is up against it in this group but they will make it hard for teams to score and who knows what could happen if the ball falls their way.
Chile are regular World Cup participants and have contested the tournament on 7 occasions with a third in 1962 being their best finish.
The Chileans are the minnows of the South American teams and they are an attacking unit who love to score, but it often comes at a cost with the backline leaking goals in the process.
Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa will rely on Humberto Suazo, Alexis Sanchez and Matias Fernandez to lead the way and the Chileans are expected to claim second spot according to bookmakers.
Chile has had plenty of warm up games of late and they are in pretty good form. The Chileans beat Trinidad & Tobago (2-0) before losing to Mexico (1-0) and then scored victories in their next three games against Zambia (3-0), Northern Ireland (1-0) and Israel (3-0).
Alexis Sanchez was Chile’s highest goal scorer during recent friendly games with three goals to his name.
World Cup Group H Predictions
1. Spain 2. Chile 3. Switzerland 4. Honduras
Spain are favourites for the title and the Euro 2008 winners look head and shoulders above their opposition in this group and should finish on top in Group H quite easily, all things being equal.
Chile finished above Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in qualifying and the Chileans enter the tournament on the back of some very sound form and they can take second place.
Switzerland are always competitive and could push for second spot but we think the Chileans will push them out, while Honduras will be lucky to get a point on their recent friendly form.
World Cup Group H Betting Markets and Odds
World Cup Group H First Match
Honduras meet Chile in the first Group H match at Nelspruit.
|Jun 22nd||Chile||vs.||Switzerland||Mandela Bay||12:00am||Odds|
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Filed Under: 2010 World Cup