Honduras, what should we expect?

Coached by the Colombian Luis Fernando Suarez, the man who took Ecuador to the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup, Honduras (currently ranked 30th in the world) do have a manager who has experience at a World Cup. He was appointed manager of the Central American nation in 2011 and in truth qualified for the World Cup comfortably with USA and Costa Rica from the North American qualifying section. They finished ahead of Mexico who qualified via a playoff match. Below is the final table for qualifying.

 United States10712158+722
 Costa Rica10532137+618
 Honduras104331312+115
 Mexico1025379−211
 Panama101541014−48
 Jamaica10055513−85

Final Qualifying Table. Source: Wikipedia

With the exception of 20-year-old goalkeeper Luis Lopez, Honduras have a squad of players that have all achieved double figures in terms of caps. Below is the squad that has been selected to represent Honduras at the World Cup.

1GKLuis López(1993-09-13)13 September 1993 (20)0Honduras Real España
2DFOsman Chávez(1984-07-29)29 July 1984 (29)54China Qingdao Jonoon
3DFMaynor Figueroa(1983-05-02)2 May 1983 (31)104England Hull City
4DFJuan Pablo Montes(1985-10-26)26 October 1985 (28)11Honduras Motagua
5DFVíctor Bernárdez(1982-05-24)24 May 1982 (32)77United States San Jose Earthquakes
6DFJuan Carlos García(1988-03-08)8 March 1988 (26)33England Wigan Athletic
7DFEmilio Izaguirre(1986-05-10)10 May 1986 (28)67Scotland Celtic
8MFWilson Palacios(1984-07-29)29 July 1984 (29)94England Stoke City
9FWJerry Palacios(1981-11-01)1 November 1981 (32)23Costa Rica Alajuelense
10MFMario Martínez(1989-07-30)30 July 1989 (24)35Honduras Real España
11FWJerry Bengtson(1987-04-08)8 April 1987 (27)43United States New England Revolution
12MFEdder Delgado(1986-11-20)November 20, 1986 (27)25Honduras Real España
13FWCarlo Costly(1982-07-18)18 July 1982 (31)69Honduras Real España
14MFÓscar García(1984-09-04)4 September 1984 (29)92United States Houston Dynamo
15MFRoger Espinoza(1986-10-25)25 October 1986 (27)41England Wigan Athletic
16FWRony Martínez(1988-10-16)16 October 1988 (25)12Honduras Real Sociedad
17MFMarvin Chávez(1983-11-03)3 November 1983 (30)41United States Chivas USA
18GKNoel Valladares (c)(1977-05-03)3 May 1977 (37)121Honduras Olimpia
19MFLuis Garrido(1990-11-05)5 November 1990 (23)19Honduras Olimpia
20MFJorge Claros(1986-01-08)8 January 1986 (28)48Honduras Motagua
21MFAndy Najar(1993-03-16)16 March 1993 (21)16Belgium Anderlecht
22GKDonis Escober(1980-02-03)3 February 1980 (34)26Honduras Olimpia
23DFBrayan Beckeles(1985-11-28)28 November 1985 (aged 28)22Honduras Olimpia

Squad List. Source: Wikipedia.

The squad does possess some familiar names. English based quartet of Maynor Figueroa, Roger Espinoza, Juan Carlos Garcia and Wilson Palacios. Celtic man Emilio Izaguirre are among the names we know. Wilson Palacios is the heartbeat of the team, his tough tackling and driven personality give Honduras some character and bite in the midfield area but this team does have a lot of flair in attack. They shouldn’t be pushovers for sure.

Honduras were drawn into Group E alongside France, Switzerland and the managers old employers Ecuador. They go into that group as the 4th best side, but they do know that on their day they could get results against Ecuador and Switzerland. Ecuador have a lot of pace and power in their ranks, we saw that when they got a 2-2 draw with England. The Swiss are known in tournament football to be good at defending, they don’t concede many but in truth they don’t score many. France despite losing Ribery to injury are the strongest outfit in Group E.

So, what can England expect from Honduras when the sides meet in Miami? A technically sound side with midfield presence assuming the Hondurans pick their strongest eleven. England however will be strong favourites.