Spain set to bring their World Cup Campaign back on track against Honduras, Chile take on Switzerland
Spain will be hoping to bring their World Cup back on track with a win when they face Honduras in Group H match. Spain shocked the world when they lost to Switzerland in their opening match. Spain needs nothing less than a victory if they want to stay in the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
Spain suffered second loss in their last 49 matches when they lost to Switzerland. But Spain’s squad is confident that they will be back in form when they face Honduras at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Talking to reporters, Real Madrid and Spain’s midfielder Xabi Alonso said, “We need to take it step by step. Without a doubt the game against Honduras is crucial because there is no margin for error. Afterwards we will think more about Chile”.
But Alonso also believes that Honduras won’t be pushovers either. He said, “We are expecting a difficult game. Honduras did not get a good result against Chile and therefore it’s an important match. They are strong physically, with solid players at the back. And they will want to make things difficult for us”.
Despite dominating against Switzerland, Spain was unable to take the lead. Their poor finishing came under heavy criticism from media. Talking about the media backlash, Alonso said, “We know how to live with criticism. It’s on the pitch where we will win the credit. The best way to do that is to have good game against Honduras and win the match”. Meanwhile, Fernando Torres and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Febregas are hopeful to start the match for Spain. Talking to reporters, Torres said, “I’ve been training for more than two weeks with my teammates and little by little I’ve forgotten about the injury. It’s up to the coach. He decides.”
On the other hand, Honduras is also confident that they are capable of upsetting the World Cup favourites but are wary that Spain would come all out after their loss. He said, “We should not be distracted by the (Swiss) result. As one of the favourites and having lost their first game, Spain will be even more determined.” Honduras’ full back Sergio Mendoza is adamant that Spain will have to work very hard if they want to get past the Central Americans. He said, “We know that Spain is favourites thanks to their status on the international stage but we have come to the World Cup to make history. The only way we can make history is to beat one of the favourites.”
In the other Group H match, winners of opening matches will be head to head for group supremacy. Chile will be facing Switzerland in a potential group topping match. Chile, who before winning against Honduras, won their last World Cup game in 1962 are confident that will get pass Switzerland to seal their place in 2nd round. Chile will be suspicious of Switzerland counter attacking style, which left Spain in the clutches of defeat in the opening game. Talking to media, Chile’s defender Gary Medel said, “We definitely have to be careful because with very little possession the Swiss still managed to beat Spain. We know that we have to be much more mobile than Spanish, to create some space, to open their defence which looks closed.”
On the other hand, Switzerland is already aware of Chile’s attacking credentials and will be moulding their strategy accordingly. Talking to media, Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said that his players are mentally prepared to counter Chile’s attacking football by defending tightly and restricting their movement. “We have to play with a cool head and not give Chile chances,” Hitzfeld said. “If we lose our heads, we don’t stand a chance.” Hitzfeld will be encouraged by the fact that striker Alex Frei and midfielder Valon Behrami will be fit to play after recovering from their injuries. Hitzfeld would be looking to fully utilize the duo in a match that could take them to next round in a surprising turn of events.