FIFA World Cup Overview: Switzerland, Honduras, Chile, Spain

Andres Iniesta the key to Spain's success.

The Swiss enter the 2010 World Cup via the easiest group in European qualifying consisting of Greece, Latvia, and Israel. The Swiss will have a much tougher challenge on the first day of the World Cup when they have to play favourites, Spain. A draw against Spain would be viewed as a bonus point for the Swiss because they will be more focused on winning their next two games against Chile, and Honduras, respectively. Even if the Swiss get out of Group H they will then have to probably play the winner of Group G. The Swiss had hopes of making it to the quarter finals in this year’s World Cup, but when they saw the draw they knew that making it to the quarter final would be a monumental feat.

Key Player

With Switzerland’s star striker Alexander Frei facing fitness problems. The Swiss defence will have to be almost unbeatable. Philippe Senderos will have to return to his form that made him one of the next great centre backs in the English Premier League, if not, this tournament could lead to disaster for Switzerland.

Honduras

After a 28 year absence from the World Cup, Los Albiazules were able to qualify automatically when Jonathan Bornstein of the USA scored against Costa Rica to secure qualification for the Hondurans. Bornstein has taken on a cult status in Honduras, so much so that there is now a national holiday to celebrate the goal. Honduras were wishing for a bit of an easier draw, but now the Hondurans are just expected to challenge and maybe even advance to the knockout stage, and who knows what will happen in Honduras if they advance to the knockout stage.

Key Player    

Wilson Palacios is one of the best young talents in England; Palacios is now being linked with a move to Barcelona. Palacios is a holding midfielder who is known for shutting down the best in the game. Palacios will really be testing himself when Honduras play Spain and he will be expected to shut down Fernando Torres which is almost unheard of, but if Palacios is successful the Spanish may be in for a major surprise.

Chile

Chile enters this World Cup off the back of a very successful qualifying campaign where they were only second to Brazil. Finishing ahead of Argentina and Paraguay, the Chileans played an attacking style in qualifying and if they want to have success this World Cup, their attacking style will have to work, because if it doesn’t, this World Cup could be a quick one for the Chileans.

Key Player

Humberto Suazo was the leading scorer in Conmebol’s World Cup qualifying one ahead of Brazil’s Luis Fabiano. If Chile want to succeed, Suazo will need to have an impressive World Cup. If he doesn’t, Chile will not enjoy themselves that much this World Cup.

Spain

Los Rojas enter this World Cup as heavy favourites despite never winning a World Cup before, and why not? There is no weakness in the Spanish squad. They have the best pure striker in the World in Fernando Torres, the two best central midfielders in Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and a very strong defence with Carles Puyol, and Gerard Pique, and the best goalkeeper in the world Iker Casillas. But Spain cannot afford to slip up in the Group stage or they might be playing the winner in Group G which will be very tough.

Key Player

In Euro 2008 Spain’s unsung hero was Marcos Senna. With Senna not making the 2010 World Cup squad Andres Iniesta will have to be the midfielder that holds the ball up in the midfield and control the game for Spain. And this task, is sometimes as Sir Alex Ferguson once said “Iniesta hasn’t given away the ball in his life.” After the Manchester United Champions League loss where Iniesta dominated the whole game,  Iniesta will be the key to Spain if they are going to win the World Cup.

 

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