Group H: Spain, Chile, Honduras, Switzerland
Spain look set to finish atop Group H thanks to their status as one of the favorites to lift the World Cup trophy. Their presence in this group though is only part of the story. This is an evenly-balanced group that features efficient Switzerland, classy Chile, and solid Honduras.
The Swiss rebounded in emphatic fashion after a troublesome start to their qualifying campaign and will be a threat under Ottmar Hitzfeld. Marcelo Bielsa is one of the more highly rated managers in South Africa and he has led Chile to the 2010 World Cup playing an attractive, free-flowing style of football. Under Reinaldo Rueda, Honduras have become a very difficult team to play against and will challenge too for a place in the second round.
What Should Happen
Their country may have been in the midst of chaos due to political instability, however that did not keep the members of the Honduras national team from qualifying for only their second ever World Cup finals. In 1982, Honduras performed admirably in the World Cup drawing against Spain and Northern Ireland and losing to Yugoslavia. This time around there are realistic expectations of going one step further and advancing to the knockout rounds of South Africa 2010. Reinaldo Rueda’s side have nothing to lose come June and could prove to be a dangerous proposition in Group H.
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 40th
World Cup Appearances: 1 (1982)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 0-2-1
Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage, 1982
Road To South Africa: Finished 3rd in CONCACAF Final Round Hexagonal