Spain vs Honduras – Euro champs need killer edge from Torres
Spain will be hoping lightening doesn’t strike twice when they play a Honduras side who should be no match for them. The game kicks off at 7.30pm with Spain 1/7 to win, compared to 14/1 for the Central Americans.
Vicente Del Bosque’s team received bucketfuls of drooling compliments prior to their game with Switzerland and, while they demonstrated their supreme passing ability as per usual, the result which would usually follow failed to materialise.
They are currently 11/2 third favourites to lift the World Cup.
Gelson Fernandes’ scrambled effort seemed apt as a way of beating the majestic Euro 2008 winners; a triumph of Ottmar Hitzfeld’s beast of over Xavi and co’s beauty. It was only Spain’s second defeat in 49 matches and owed a lot to the lack of any killer edge up front.
Spain completed 592 passes at a 91 per cent success rate, the most of any nation in the opening round (Brazil were second with 573 passes at 89 per cent), but couldn’t transform possession into goals because of the tactically astute defence in front of them.
Honduras do not have that level of defensive ability, however, and this time round expect David Villa and Fernando Torres to prosper, possibly from the start.
Torres looked rusty in the 30 minutes he got against Switzerland but, with another week of training under his belt, and with the need for a big win paramount, Del Bosque could switch tactics to a 4-4-2 rather than 4-5-1 formation.
If he does it would be worth backing both to score at any time – 1/2 for Villa, 4/5 for Torres.
Honduras played like a team ranked 38th in the world in their opening match with Chile, and the 1-0 defeat didn’t reflect the true imbalance in the play. Honduras haven’t won in six games, losing four and, at 14/1, look to have almost no chance of winning here.
The only way they could reign victorious is if 36-year-old Carlos Pavon suddenly rediscovers his goal-scoring touch from a younger age. He has an incredible 57 goals from 98 caps but is slim, at 14/1, to score first against Spain.
The last time Spain tasted defeat they score three goals in their next game and 14 in their next four. Expect a similar reaction this time, starting with Reinaldo Rueda’s side – 3-0 looks good at 5/1.