International Friendly: Belarus V Honduras Betting – Thursday, 27th May

26th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

 

Belarus V Honduras

Thursday 27th May, 17:30 GMT
International Friendly
Live coverage can be found by logging into your Bet365 account.

 

As that old adage goes ‘When it rains, it pours’ and that was certainly the case for Honduras as after a long trip from North America to Europe, what awaited them in Bad Bleiberg, Austria, was countless amounts of rain and an unusable training pitch – far from ideal. So plans were then revised and Honduras were moved to Troepolach, still in Austria, where they will remain until they leave for the finals on 8th June. In the meantime, the 30 strong Honduras squad will participate in three friendlies; on Thursday they take on a dangerous Belarus, on June 2nd they clash with Azerbaijan and finally on the 5th June the Romanian‘s await them, all of which will be played in Austria.

It’s going to be a gruelling few weeks for some, with a handful (seven) soon to be let loose from the Honduras camp altogether, with coach Reinaldo Rueda set to reduce the size of his provisional squad sometime this week. Before then, however, at least 11 players will have one final chance to shine before Rueda picks his final 23 for the finals next month in their game with Belarus on Thursday afternoon. A maximum of six subs can be used and with Rueda himself unsure as to who he will pick for his final 23-man World Cup squad, this friendly encounter will give him a good insight into who he deems worthy of a spot in his official World Cup squad.

This first of three friendlies is arguably the most significant because it’s when Rueda will properly assess some of those currently on the fringe of the 23, and those he’s still unsure of. What it does mean is those 17 players given one final chance on Thursday will be eager to impress, desperate to show their value to their country. Sure, Rueda will have more than a dozen names in mind for his final 23, the likes of Wilson Palacios, Carlos Pavon and Justin Leon all certainties to make the cut, but there are more than enough spots up for grabs to keep the rest of the squad on their toes ahead of judgement day.

We’re in the dark as to how Rueda will approach this first friendly, whether he will put out a strong side in a bid to build some chemistry and momentum ahead of the finals in a fortnights time, or whether he will use Thursday’s game as his courtyard, axing those surplus to requirements should they fail to impress when presented with one final but golden opportunity. Considering he has two friendlies pencilled in in June before the finals commence, we would hazard a guess that Thursday’s team sheet will consist mainly of player Rueda wants one final look at, with the big names perhaps watching on from the sidelines. If the high-profile players do start, we should be in for a good game and we hope they do as we want to have our own views on how Honduras’ preparations are getting on.

 

Belarus will give Honduras a good run for their money though. England fans may remember the country as they were in their Group during qualifying, finishing fourth in a difficult group consisting of winners England, Ukraine and Croatia. Belarus were far from disgraced though, accumulating 13 points after 10 qualifiers, brushing aside the smaller nations in the group but putting up some stern resistance against the more equipped teams. The former Arsenal and Barcelona winger Alexander Hleb can be a tricky customer down the flanks and his persistence to hit the byline and unleash some wicked crosses, as well as sparkling the spectators with some neat tricks, will keep the Honduras full-backs on their toes throughout, and the same can be said about their other skilful winger Tsimafey Kalachow. Up front, Bari forward Vitali Kutuzov, despite not boasting the most prolific scoring record at international level, is a dangerous forward and one which will sniff out a chance or two in the box.

The European’s won’t travel to Austria to merely provide Honduras with a casual warm up encounter. Once the finals draw to a close on July 11th, international coaches, especially in Europe, will turn their attention to the continental competitions and Belarus are getting in some vital pitch time ahead of 2012 UEFA European Championship qualifying. The Belarus players will be just as eager to impress as Honduras.

 

Match Odds:

Belarus – 3.50 StanJames
Draw – 3.30 WilliamHill
Honduras – 2.20 Ladbrokes

 

Our Prediction: Belarus to WIN – 3.50 StanJames

Neutral venue so neither side will benefit from a large influx of support, but in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa we were impressed with how Belarus approach their games regardless of who they were up against. There is no middle ground with them, which does have it’s good and bad points. The plus point is they do like to attack, with genuine intent and purpose whilst committing numbers forward. The negative for us was that time and time again Belarus were exposed in defence by their forward commitments, while their organisational skills at the back werealmost non-existent. Hopefully coach Bernd Stange will have fixed their defensive problems by now, but their forward play was  certainly pleasing on the eye, a team which gets the ball down to feet and plays snappy, on-your-toes football. If the Honduras midfield and defence isn’t alert from the off, we feel Belarus will cause the World Cup side all sorts of problems.

From an Honduras perspective, we merely watching on from afar. They were workmanlike during qualifying rather than ruthless, and were it not for some piece of good fortune elsewhere they wouldn’t even of made the finals. They aren’t a country mile better than Belarus on paper we feel, with both teams having equally dangerous players within their midsts, but our gut is feeling us that Honduras coach Rueda may well try out some of his fringe players for this clash and if that’s to be the case, we would have to side with Belarus at attractive odds.

Our Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals – 2.00 Boylesports




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