Friday, November 24, 2017

Prediction: Australia vs Honduras

Milos Markovic in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 14 Nov 2017

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Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Bet365

Following a goalless draw a couple of days ago, the World Cup inter-continental play-off tie between Australia and Honduras is still very much alive. With a Russian visa at stake the atmosphere is heating up with the visiting side accusing hosts of espionage even.

Australia

The Socceroos were the better side of the two in the first leg of the inter-continental World Cup play-off in San Pedro Sula. Australia dominated the proceedings with 59% possession and five shots on goal to Honduras’ two. The team from Down Under was unlucky to get the goal advantage in the first leg and will be forced to work hard in order to seal the World Cup qualification on Wednesday.

The Socceroos face great pressure following accusations of espionage coming from the visiting camp. A drone was spotted hovering over Honduras training session sparking a fresh set of tensions between the two sides, but Australia claim the unmanned aerial device was operated by a family at the neighbouring park and had nothing to do with the Australian national team. The only way Australia can wash the dirt from their hands now is to put an impressive display in front of their home supporters.

Team News

Trent Sainsbury put in a superb performance in the centre of defence and will lead the way once again, whereas Mile Jedinak is in line for another starting berth despite playing minimal minutes in past couple of months.

Mathew Leckie returns to the fold and will be a valuable option at Australia head coach’s disposal.

Honduras

Jose Luis Pinto did not accept Australia’s explanation of the drone caught filming the Honduras training and insisted the hosts wanted to spy on the CONCACAF nation. His words are only the continuation of the negative electricity initiated last week when Australians were caught saying on national TV that San Pedro Sula is the murder capital of the world.

It might be another way to increase pressure on the home nation following a goalless draw in Honduras, knowing that South Americans are well aware of the challenge lying in front of them. Jose Luis Pinto faces a daunting task of getting his team ready following a tiring travelling arrangement that could be a potential problem. Honduras will, however, have important players back from suspension and that is a welcoming boost for the visitors.

Team News

Previously suspended captain Maynor Figueroa and winger Alberth Elis are back in contention and could be used straight from the off.

Chirinos and Costly are also pushing for a place in the starting team.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Australia are coming off from a run of three consecutive draws
  • Honduras are unbeaten in their last six matches
  • Australia have yet to lose in 4 games across all competitions
  • Socceroos lost three of their last 10 home games
  • Honduras won only one of their last 8 matches on the road

Conclusion

A high-tension match is expected once again with one single moment of brilliance or utter stupidity and lack of composure having the potential to solve the tie. Both sides will be on their toes and we don’t expect to see an entertaining match. Extra-time and penalties could easily be on the cards here.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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