World Cup 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014 at 23:00 GMT (19:00 Local time)
Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
Honduras vs Ecuador Preview
Defeat in the first round has practically sent away Honduras from the next stage of the World Cup, but eventual victory against Ecuador would change things drastically. Ecuador lost the match against Switzerland unhappily, so a victory against Honduras is an imperative.
Honduras is a team of modest capabilities in Group E. It could have seen in the first game, when they easily suffered a convincing defeat, 0-3. Maybe it does not look like that, because they were playing a man down due to exclusion of their best player Palacios, but France did not play with a full strength, but they scored three goals. Palacios has no right to play in the game, so Honduras will be significantly weakened in this match. Coach Suarez does not have much of a choice among the reserve players, so he will probably replace Palacios with Claros.
Probable line-up of Honduras (4-2-3-1): Valladares – Beckeles, Bernardez, Figueroa, Izaguirre – Garido, Claros – Najar, Espinoza, Costly – Bengtson
Ecuador was better against Switzerland in most parts of the game, but like in similar situations, they defended the leading goal so Switzerland had a lot of space to develop their play. Ecuador is generally a good defensive team and the goal received in injury time was really a surprise, which has likely left a mark on the players. Therefore it is good that Honduras is their next opponent, since they will have an opportunity to take back into the game on an easier way. An additional advantage of Ecuador’s team is coach Rueda who knows players of Honduras very well, because he was the coach of that team. Regardless of what Ecuador gives an impression of a defensive team, they have excellent strikers, and Enner Valencia and Caceido proved to be the most dangerous in the first game. Coach Rueda probably will not change the starting line-up from the first game, because there is no valid reason for such a move.
Probable line-up of Ecuador (4-2-3-1): Dominguez – Paredes, Guagua, Erazo, W. Ayovi – Noboa, Gruezo – A. Valencia, Montero – E. Valencia, F. Caicedo
Honduras vs Ecuador Match Prediction
This will be their first duel against each other in official competitions. They have played six friendly matches, where Ecuador has achieved two victories, Honduras has won once, while three matches have ended in a tie (2-2 in the last one, in November 2013). Ecuador has shown more than Honduras, has better players at every position, so it is realistic to expect them to win. Ecuador -1.