Preview: Spain out to make amends

الإثنين، 21 يونيو 2010 - 00:21

كتب : Hatem Maher

European champions Spain will be looking to atone for their stunning 1-0 defeat by Switzerland in their World Cup opener when they face Honduras on Monday.

Vicente Del Bosque's men failed to impress against Switzerland but are unlikely to face stern challenge from Honduras, who lost 1-0 to Chile in their first Group H game.

Chile and Switzerland meet in the other group game while Portugal take on North Korea in Group G.

Spain V Honduras

Team news:

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta is uncertain to start the game after picking up a knock against Switzerland.

Honduras striker David Suazo is still struggling with an injury and is unlikely to play against Spain.

What they said:

"The important thing now is to stay true to our style of play, which is what has made us a winning team. We can't afford to lose our heads, we need to keep doing what we're doing and keep believing in what made us favorites," Spain striker Fernando Torres.

"We rate Spain as highly after that match (their loss to Switzerland) as we did before it. This result does not change our valuation of Spain and their qualities," Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda.

Player to watch:

Spain: Striker Fernando Torres will be desperate to open his account at the World Cup after making a disappointing appearance against Switzerland as a substitute.

Honduras: Goalkeeper Noel Valladares pulled off a string of impressive saves against Chile.

Chile V Switzerland

Team news:

Chile striker Humberto Suazo might be included in the starting line up after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Switzerland defender Philippe Senderos will miss the game through injury. Steve von Bergen is expected to replace him.

What they said:

"We got three points against Spain and nobody expected us to do so. We're in a very good position now but we must be aware that Chile are the favourites because they have so much international experience," Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

"The Swiss victory was very valuable to them, and you should give credit to Switzerland for that rather than taking it away from Spain," Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Player to watch:

Chile: Udinese's Alexis Sanchez stole the show in the 1-0 victory over Honduras with his energetic moves and neat feints.

Switzerland: Keeper Diego Benaglio prevented Spain from scoring with a number of fine saves.

Portugal V North Korea

Team news:

Portugal midfielder Deco will probably miss the game after sustaining a hip injury in training.

What they said:

"We'll have to play higher up the pitch against the North Koreans and take more risks because we need a victory. Obviously we can't afford to play the way we did in our last match," Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz.

"Portugal are one of the potential competition winners. We started this World Cup against one of the biggest teams in the world and I think there'll be less pressure against Portugal. We have a real chance of winning this match," North Korea forward Jong Tae Se.

Player to watch:

Portugal: All eyes are on Real Madrid wizard Cristiano Ronaldo, who rattled the post with a powerful shot in the goalless draw with Ivory Coast.

North Korea: Central defender Ri Kwang-Chon produced a solid performance in the 2-1 defeat by Brazil.