Honduras v Ecuador Preview

Group E | Friday 20 June | Arena da Baixada, Curitiba | 23:59




Ecuador suffered a defeat to Switzerland that rocked their chances of qualifying from Group E. Next up for the South Americans is Honduras who were given no chance of making it to the knockout stages and could do little to prove otherwise when losing their opener to France. Those losses mean both sides will be looking for maximum points here to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

To Win (90mins)
Honduras 42/10
Draw 29/10
Ecuador 6/10

HONDURAS

Honduras were convincingly beaten 3-0 by France in their opening match. The Hondurans finished the game with 10 men after Wilson Palacios was shown two yellow cards for a pair of fouls on Paul Pogba, while goal-line technology was later called into action for Valladares' own goal.

Although they were thoroughly outclassed eventually, Honduras were able to hold France goalless until the stroke of half-time.

Palacios received a second yellow card for his foul on Paul Pogba and that was the moment that Los Catrachos lost their grip on the game.

Once Benzema tucked away the spot kick, there was likely going to be no way back for Honduras. Palacios—who should know better considering his experience—looked as if he was looking for his red card.

That ill discipline could be the CONCACAF representatives’ downfall in Brazil and not their limited talent.

Honduras are lowest ranked CONCACAF team in the World Cup behind USA, Mexico and Costa Rica. Leading up to the tournament Honduras didn’t do themselves any favours, failing to win a single warm up match with losses against Turkey (2-0) and Israel (4-2) followed by a goalless draw with England.

Honduras’ main concern is a lack of genuine goal scorers. The Honduran team has never won a World Cup match in its history, with two previous appearances, and was one of two teams that failed to net a goal in 2010.

ECUADOR

Ecuador threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Switzerland in a crucial match that gives Switzerland the upper hand over Ecuador to advance from the group along with France.

Switzerland grabbed a winner with virtually the final kick Sunday, extending a run of come-from-behind wins that are becoming a theme of the tournament.

It was the fifth time in the first nine matches in Brazil that a team had come from a goal down to win.

Enner Valencia rose unmarked in the 22nd minute and headed in a free kick to give Ecuador the lead. However, Ecuador were exposed for their defensive frailties for both Swiss goals.

While Ecuador's ambition in seeking a late winner was admirable, it was also a little naive. Having over-committed, they were caught on the counter.

They've now paid the price with a dropped point in their opening game. The tournament has been typified by exciting attacking football.

Ecuador fans, however, could be forgiven for wishing their team had been a little more conservative in the game's closing stages.

Ecuador lie 26th in the Fifa World rankings, seven places above their opponents. Ecuador are a team heavily focused on pacy wingers attacking the flanks.

Antonio Valencia has been in poor form for Manchester United for a long time now, but he always seems to up his game for the national team, and striker Felipe Caicedo provides the perfect foil for this kind of play.

It's not a great team, but their game plan is simple and can be effective. While Ecuador, who taking part in their third World Cup, are strong going forward, they lack quality at the back.

None of their central defenders are playing regularly at a decent club. However, they will hopefully welcome back defensive midfielder Segundo Castillo from injury.

The well travelled veteran played a vital role in protecting the defence during the qualifiers.

Betting PredictionECUADOR 6/10
This should be a physical encounter as Ecuador rely on power while attacking and Honduras’ defensive has no time for prisoners with crunching tackles and no space the name of the game. These sides have met three times in the past four years with Ecuador winning once and the other two matches drawn. Ecuador’s attack could be the difference between the sides and the South Americans are tipped to nip the win.   

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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