Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Prediction: Honduras vs Australia

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

Tensions are rising ahead of the first leg of Australia’s World Cup qualification play-off against Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

The Socceroos were condemned for their apparent lack of respect for the Honduran nation and we most certainly expect the tensions to spill over on to the pitch itself for a highly-eventful clash on Friday night.

Honduras

Honduran striker Anthony Lozano declared his team will be out to ‘kill Australia off’ in the wake of negative media attention appearing around their forthcoming World Cup play-off clash against Australia.

As a team that finished the CONCACAF qualifying stage with a hard-fought 3-2 win over group leaders Mexico, Honduras is being undeservedly underestimated by Australia. Their record of three wins, four draws and three defeats in ten qualifying matches was enough for Jorge Luis Pinto’s men to claw up to the fourth place and extend their World Cup hopes. Honduras will lack no motivation against disrespecting Australians who will undoubtedly be in for a hell of an atmosphere in San Pedro Sula.

Team News

Goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez and forward Eddie Hernandez have both received late call-ups for the Australia match.

Jose Mendoza has been overlooked for the forthcoming clash.

Australia

The Socceroos gained plenty of unwanted attention ahead of their crucial clash at Honduras with claims emerging from the visiting camp that it’s not safe to be travelling to the ‘murder capital of the world’. 

Days ahead of the game at the Estadio Olympico Metropolitano the Socceroos were forced to address concerns even from the Honduras president about the lack of respect for the nation that finished fourth in the CONCACAF zone’s qualification. From a clearly sporting aspect of the forthcoming clash, Australia will look to exploit the fact Honduras failed to keep a clean sheet in five matches on home turf and striker Tomi Juric – who is struggling with fitness issues – will be in charge of extending the Honduran conceding run. Juric has been in great shape lately having scored two times in his past three matches but Postecoglu’s side has enough firepower to offer if they manage to keep their heads cool in what is likely to be a rather hot place to play at.

Team News

Jackson Irvine missed the midweek training session but should be in contention to start the game against Honduras.

Mark Milligan and Mat Leckie are suspended whereas Robbie Kruse is unavailable due to his knee problem. Tomi Juric has been on a special training schedule.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Honduras conceded 13 goals in ten qualifying matches
  • Honduras won only two of their last 5 home games
  • Australia lost only one of their last six outings
  • Both teams failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three games
  • Socceroos are yet to win any of their last seven matches on the road

Conclusion

Negative media pressure cannot be a good introduction to the first leg of the World Cup play-off clash in Honduras and, in all honesty, we do not expect to see an eye-pleasing match. What we do expect however is goals at both ends given the two teams’ most recent records.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/6

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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