World Cup 2010: Group H Analysis - Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Group Strength La Furia Roja have been spared a nightmare scenario but still face some tough tests in the section. Ottmar Hitzfeld's Switzerland recovered from a poor start to their qualification campaign to top their listings ahead of Greece and Israel. Meanwhile, Chile were only a point worse off than CONMEBOL section toppers, Brazil and are an exciting, dynamic prospect under Marcelo Bielsa, scoring 32 times in the qualification process. Honduras, back after 28 years to the world stage, are somewhat of an unknown quantity to a global audience but managed to inflict a 3-1 over Mexico during the CONCACAF qualification process and boast a number of impressive performers not to be taken lightly. Group Favourites Spain will certainly fancy their chances of topping the group with relative ease; nine eminently winnable points are on offer for the current world number one and European champions. Wins over Switzerland and Honduras could leave Spain with the enviable prospect of fielding an understrength side in the final match against Chile. Battle for Second Chile and Switzerland are currently next to each other in the current batch of world rankings; the South American side sit 17th with the Swiss one place back; Honduras are a distant 39th. The group promises to be intriguing with so little to choose between the the Swiss and the Chileans on paper and the June 21 clash between the two sides could have a huge bearing on the knock-out credentials of both. The Outsiders It would be unfair to label Honduras as rank underdogs in the section as they could have been handed a lot worse draw. However, the central Americans need to hit the ground running with a decent result against Chile on matchday one. It would be foolish to dismiss La Bicolor as no-hopers, boasting the likes of Wilson Palacios, David Suazo and Carlos Costly in their ranks. The Long Road Forward The runners-up in Group H will surely have a stern task on their hands in the knock-out round of 16. Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Portugal and outsiders North Korea comprise Group G, with the top-placed team in that pool moving on to meet Group H's second best. It ensures that the reward for topping the section will only be a tough tie in the second round, with the possibility of facing The Netherlands, Cameroon and Italy further along the tournament ladder.


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