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MrJibbles

Match Day 6

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The Chile side coached by Marcelo 'El Loco' Bielsa were one of the genuine revelations of the qualifying stage for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the Argentine strategist's hard-running outfit finishing second in the South American section behind Brazil. Up against them in their opening encounter in Group H are CONCACAF side Honduras, returning to football's biggest stage after a 28-year absence.The matchHonduras-Chile, Group H, Nelspruit, Wednesday 16 June, 13.30 (local time)In a section containing tournament favourites Spain, the remaining three teams would appear condemned to battling it out for a single Round of 16 berth. That being the case, this opening duel looks vital to both sides' hopes of progressing. On paper at least, the attacking prowess of Bielsa's Chile may give them the edge, given they were 32-goal top scorers in the South American Zone. One concern, however, is the fitness of Real Zaragoza's Humberto Suazo, their ten-goal leading marksmen in qualifying, who is battling to recover from a muscle strain.His Honduran namesake David Suazo is in a similar situation. A pulled muscle in the warm-up game against Romania could well force the Genoa hitman out of the Chile match, while there was bad news on the eve of the game with key attacking midfielder Julio Cesar de Leon ruled out of the tournament with a muscle problem. These heavyweight absentees will pile even more responsibility on the shoulders of 36-year-old striker Carlos Pavon, who struck the winning goal against El Salvador which sent Los Catrachos to South Africa.Players to watchWilson Palacios v Matias FernandezDespite the knocks and niggles that have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the encounter, both teams have their playmakers intact and ready to assume creative duties. For Honduras that job falls to Wilson Palacios, who is normally a defensive midfielder at club level with Tottenham Hotspur. Chile's string-pulling should be done by Matias Fernandez of Sporting Lisbon, though given the doubts surrounding Suazo and fellow forwards Alexis Sanchez and Esteban Paredes, Bielsa could also bring in fellow schemer Jorge Valdivia in a more advanced role.The stat2 — On their only previous trip to the finals at Spain 1982, Honduras picked up two points via 1-1 draws with the host nation and Northern Ireland. La Bicolor missed out on a spot in the next round, however, after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Yugoslavia.What they say"Chile are a tough team to play, they don't give you any space and work the ball very well in midfield. They're the type of side that need everybody on their game to really click. So, when we have the ball we need to keep hold of it, and win it back quickly to be able to cause them problems," Hendry Thomas, Honduras midfielder."Why shouldn't we aim to reach the last four? Our team's capable of getting great results, but we're also aware that we mustn't get carried away. For the moment, our most important game is the one against Honduras," Claudio Bravo, Chile captain and goalkeeper.Voice of the fans"With the players they have Chile should beat Honduras, but games are won on the pitch. It'll be very tough, and if we slip up then it'll make the World Cup very difficult for us. Particularly because our other two games will be even harder, especially the one against Spain. I'm hoping that we win the game and show our opponents plenty of respect. Chile have no right to underestimate anybody. We mustn't forgot what we've done in the past," vicmar, FIFA.com user.The questionWhich two teams do you think will qualify for the Round of 16 from Group H?
Spain can expect some chilly temperatures in Durban when they take on Switzerland in what will be their 50th FIFA World Cup™ finals match. The heat will almost certainly be on the Swiss, however, who have yet to beat La Roja in 18 attempts.The matchSpain-Switzerland, Group H, Durban, Wednesday, 16 June, 16.00 (local time)Having barely put a foot wrong in the last two years, Spain will take the stage at South Africa 2010 amid high expectation. Last week's 6-0 demolition of Poland represented the perfect send-off for a mature and settled side that has been boosted by the recent return to fitness of Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas, both of whom have shaken off worrying late-season injuries. The only question mark hangs over Andres Iniesta. Although coach Vicente del Bosque said the Barcelona wizard would recover from his niggles in time, Iniesta has been training at a slower pace than his team-mates in recent days.The Swiss have plenty of injury problems of their own to ponder. Alexander Frei and Valon Behrami are definitely out, forcing Nati coach Ottmar Hitzfeld to reshuffle his pack. Switzerland's recent form is also a cause for concern, defeats by Costa Rica, Norway and Uruguay having raised doubts about their ability to match their run to the last 16 at Germany 2006 – one they are hoping to repeat, at the very least, this time around.Players to watch Cesc Fabregas v Philippe SenderosWhen Fabregas signed for Arsenal in 2003 the richly gifted midfielder shared a house with the tall central defender, himself of Spanish descent. Senderos, recently signed by Fulham, took his new team-mate under his wing and the pair built up a strong friendship over the next few seasons. Should Del Bosque be forced to bring in Cesc for Iniesta, the two will renew acquaintances in the most challenging of circumstances.The stat394 - The number of minutes Switzerland have gone without conceding a goal at the FIFA World Cup finals. The Swiss kept clean sheets in every one of their games at Germany 2006, going out on penalties to Ukraine in the Round of 16. As fate would have it, it was the Spanish who were the last team to score against them on this stage, midfielder Txiki Beguiristain netting the third in a 3-0 victory in the last 16 at USA 1994.What they say"The Spanish aren't just technical, they run a lot too. We'll need to be compact at the back, defend with nine men and hit them on the break when we can. We also need to get in among their midfielders and force some free-kicks. That's where we can be very dangerous," Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland coach."When you're a striker with this national team you can't just stand around, waiting for a chance to come along. You have to keep moving, help out on the flanks and keep changing positions with the other forwards, and you have to use the whole width of the pitch. I score goals because I play for the team," David Villa, Spain forward.Voice of the fans"On paper Spain are better than Switzerland but anything can happen in a one-off game. Keeping a clean sheet is the key and that won't be easy against the Swiss with all their firepower. A goal or two up front looks a certainty, though I'm not expecting a big win. The Swiss have got their feet on the ground and they'll have done their homework," Meine74 (Spain), FIFA.com user.The questionCan Spain pierce the Swiss defence? Will Die Nati record their first ever win over the Spanish?
Group A looks too close to call after two draws on the opening day, but hosts South Africa and Uruguay should have a clearer idea of their destinies at this FIFA World Cup™ after what promises to be a hotly contested encounter in the heartland of Tshwane/Pretoria. While it is far-fetched to suggest that their Loftus Versfeld Stadium encounter will be decisive, a victory for either side would go a long way to booking a place in the Round of 16.The matchSouth Africa-Uruguay, Loftus Stadium, Wednesday 16 June, 20.30 (local time)They may be riding a wave of optimism inside the host country, but Carlos Alberto Parreira's South Africa will face a tough task against Uruguay. In their opening game against France, the Uruguayans showed that they possess the ability to contain teams and launch dangerous counter-attacks. Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has hinted that against South Africa they will be more adventurous compared to that safety-first approach. Uruguay have been preparing in Kimberley, a town famous for the surrounding gold mines, but it is goals that Uruguay want after their stalemate with France hence Tabarez's expection decision to go with an extra striker in Edinson Cavani. The South Africans too want to improve on their finishing after the 1-1 draw with Mexico, where striker Katlego Mphela missed a glorious chance in the dying moments, watching in agony as his shot shaved the upright.Still, South Africa gave their millions of home supporters cause for optimism with their opening display against Mexico. When pressed against the ropes in the first 20 minutes, they were able to absorb the pressure and, having overcome the stage fright that gripped them early on, found a head of steam in the second half. It was a performance that served notice that the hosts should not be taken lightly and the fact that they were less than 10 minutes from victory against an organised and polished Mexican side earned them rave reviews.Players to watchItumeleng Khune v Diego ForlanSouth Africa's exciting young goalkeeper, Itumeng Khune, is in the form of his life, as seen by his flying save from Alessandro Dos Santos in the second half of the game against Mexico. He showed his importance to Bafana Bafana in that Opening Match and may need to be at his best again to deny a Uruguay front line including Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan. Although expected to play behind the front two, Forlan will be hustling for an opportunity to open his account after missing a late scoring chance against France. South Africa showed a lack of concentration when conceding an equaliser to Mexico and Forlan will be looking to exploit any such weaknesses. The stat7 – the number of goals scored between the two sides in their two previous meetings. All the goals came during the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup match in Saudi Arabia where South Africa lost 4-3.What they say"I think we broke the ice [against Mexico]. We will be much better against Uruguay because now we know what we're going to get and what to expect. I think there are some things that we need to fix as well. We need to concentrate until the last minute and we need to take our chances in a game like this because they are a really good team," South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar."All matches are different – now we're facing South Africa, then Mexico, they will all be different, all difficult games. Hopefully we will be able to get more control of the ball; that way we will be able to run less and rest more, and manage the flow of the game better. South Africa is a team with good players, fast players that can counter and come out very quickly so we are going to have to be very careful," Uruguay forward Diego Forlan.Have your sayWho do you think will prevail in the midfield battle between the hard-tackling Uruguayans and the skilful South Africans? Can Bafana Bafana get their first win of their FIFA World Cup?
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That Group should provide us the most goals, with all those Spanish speaking teams.

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Hopefuly this will be a good game/robbie earle been sacked by itv lol

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Desailly compared Cappello giving his tactics away to giving a baby awayMarcel>>>>>>>

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Marcel>>>>>>> marcel for england manager :D

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lol did Itv just cut out their national anthem? ITV + Sport is a joke

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Access DeniedYou don't have permission to access "http://live.itv.com/" on this server.Reference #18.d7d87a5c.1276687938.b458d9:(

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Marcel>>>>>>> marcel for england manager :D
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Game is looking good, very nice tempo.I'm expecting goals.

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Access DeniedYou don't have permission to access "http://live.itv.com/" on this server.Reference #18.d7d87a5c.1276687938.b458d9:(
Try this onehttp://sport.stv.tv/fifa-world-cup/matches/honduras-chile-878814
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I think Chile might surprise a few people this tournament

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much better standard of game so far....nice tempo

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sanchez and fernandez >>>>nice pace to tge start of this game

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Access DeniedYou don't have permission to access "http://live.itv.com/" on this server.Reference #18.d7d87a5c.1276687938.b458d9:(
Try this onehttp://sport.stv.tv/fifa-world-cup/matches/honduras-chile-878814
or try tvcatchup
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rah, 7 of the honduras team are part time semi pros...

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Lol @ these people Wilson has to play with.That Pavon is f*ck*ng sh*t/lol this ref is sending someone off today

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big goal....fernandez >>>>>edit: lucky finish actually but still big build up.

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Lol @ these people Wilson has to play with.That Pavon is f*ck*ng sh*t/lol this ref is sending someone off today
definitely/Chile have been very impressive so far
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