Switzerland play Honduras in their final group game today at 4pm ET/1pm PT knowing that victory will seal their place in the last 16. On paper, it is one of the easier World Cup games to have as a “must win” match because the Hondurans have had a poor tournament so far.
For Honduras, Stoke midfielder Wilson Palacios will return from suspension for the foolish red card he received against France. Emilio Izaguirre of Celtic, highly rated prior to this tournament, was replaced by Juan Carlos Garcia at half time against Ecuador and may lose his place. Honduras need goals, and Carlo Costly did score with a fantastic strike in the previous game. Jerry Bengtson, who scored the winner when Honduras beat Spain in the Olympics in 2012, will start alongside him. Switzerland shipped 5 goals to France last time out and Honduras desperately need Costly and Bengtson firing on all cylinders if their to have any chance to win the game, let alone the almost impossible task of going through.
Switzerland will hope Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos are mentally strong enough to come back and perform after the French debacle. France were excellent in that match and the score could have been more than five. Fabian Schar may start at the back in place of Senderos for this reason.
Switzerland can take heart from the fact that they finished both games strongly, scoring 2 against the French late on and also coming from behind to beat Ecuador. Josip Drmic, who has not scored thus far, may be replaced by Haris Sefarovic or Admir Mehmedi who both scored against Ecuador. Granit Xhaha and Xherdan Shaqiri have looked lively, and both could enjoy a good day here. Steve Von Bergen, who fractured an eye socket after clashing with Olivier Giroud, will miss out. Blerem Dzemaili, who scored with a free kick against France, may replace Hertha Berlin bound Valentin Stocker or Valon Behrami.
Prediction: Switzerland 3-1 Honduras
Predicted Switzerland starting XI:
Predicted Honduras starting XI: