European champions Spain face Switzerland, Chile and Honduras in Group H of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Joe Strange makes his predictions.
Despite coming up against tough opposition in the form of Turkey, Belgium and Bosnia Herzegovina, current European champions Spain cruised into the finals after winning all ten of their qualifying games. The loss of influential defensive midfielder Marcos Senna is blow to their chances, but in the shape of Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso they have two excellent replacements ready to come in. The tournament favourites will breeze through Group H and possibly all the way to the final.
Odds - 10/3
The surprise package of the South American qualifying campaign, Chile finished second, just a point behind Dunga’s Brazil. Despite being drawn against Spain, manager Marcelo Bielsa will have been buoyed by the inclusion of Switzerland and Honduras – two games they are more than capable of winning. Matias Fernandez and exciting youngster Alexis Sanchez will provide the attacking threat to lead them to the last 16.
Odds - 80/1
Led by former Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland reached South Africa after topping their European qualifying group, finishing just a point ahead of Euro 2004 champions Greece. In 2006 they became the first team to be eliminated from the competition without conceding a goal, losing to Ukraine on penalties in the last 16. They will need to be at their best to overcome an in-form Chile side to grab second place.
Odds - 250/1
Minnows Honduras will be appearing in only their second ever World Cup finals after qualifying for the first time since 1982. After coming third in the CONCACAF group behind the USA and Mexico, Reinaldo Rueda’s side will be hoping to cause upset when Group H gets underway. Despite the inclusion of Premier League stars Maynor Figueroa and Wilson Palacios, a point is the best they can hope for in South Africa.
Odds - 1000/1