Entering the final matchday of Group E and it’s all to play for with France needing only a draw against Ecuador to secure top spot in the group.
Meanwhile, Switzerland takes on a Honduras side who ended the European nation’s hopes of advancing in the 2010 World Cup with a draw on the final day of match play. The Swiss, who beat Ecuador 2-1 on a late winner in their first game, trail La Tri on goal difference after being spanked 5-2 by France last week. That means if Les Bleus beat Ecuador, Switzerland need only draw with Honduras to qualify but, if Ecuador beat France, the Swiss must better Honduras to move on.
And, despite losing to France 0-3 and Ecuador 1-2, minnows Honduras actually have a slim chance to advance to the Round of 16. To do so, they’ll need a tidal wave of goals against Switzerland while hoping that France beat Ecuador.
Here are the lineups in full for both matches.
Honduras: Valladares (c), Figueroa, Bernardez, J Garcia, W Palacios, Bengtson, Costly, B Garcia, Espinoza, Claros, Beckeles
Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Inler (c), Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Mehmedi, Drmic, Djourou, Schaer, Shaqiri
Expectation: Expect Honduras to cause problems in the first half, possibly even go up a goal, but eventually one has to see the Swiss as being too talented (despite the defeat against France) to screw this up for the second straight World Cup.
One blogger’s prediction: Honduras 1, Switzerland 4
Ecuador: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W. Ayovi, E. Valencia, Minda, Arroyo (c), A. Valencia
France: Lloris (c), Sakho, Benzema, Griezmann, Matuidi, Sagna, Digne Sissoko, Pogba, Koscielny, Schneiderlin
Expectation: Gut check for this France side. Mathematically they haven’t qualified for the Round of 16 but it would be a titanic shock if they were throttled so bad here that they went home. If this Les Bleus side truly are contenders for the cup they’ll prove it by putting the match to bed in the first half and resting their stars in the second. Easier said than done though, Ecuador will come out firing.
One blogger’s prediction: France 2, Ecuador 2