Honduras vs Australia Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Honduras vs Australia prediction ahead of a crucial intercontinental 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification playoff. First leg will be staged at the “Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano” in San Pedro Sula, which is the second largest city after the capital of Honduras – Tegucigalpa. Read more in our detailed match preview, free betting tips and FIFA World Cup predictions.
H2H History: Honduras vs Australia
This is the first ever football/soccer encounter between these two nations.
This is the first ever participation of Honduras in the inter-confederation playoffs. On the other hand, Socceroos participate in the inter-confederation playoff for the sixth time but their experience remains quite embittered, reaching the final tournament just once after defeating Uruguay on penalties in the 2006 FIFA World Cup playoffs.
FIFA World Cup Playoffs: Honduras vs Australia 10.11.2017
Honduras surprised everyone by making a massive comeback and won 3:2 against Mexico in last round of the CONCACAF qualifications. Thus “Los Catrachos” have climbed to the fourth position, replacing the United States, who were favourites to earn one of the top-three spots. Well, after winning 9 points and not losing a single game (2 wins, 3 draws) in second half of the qualifying group, Honduras are surely determined to obtain visas for Russia and to record their third consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance (4th in overall).
Australia aims to reach the Mundial for the fourth time in a row and Socceroos have an advantage to host the second, decisive playoff round. They have already benefited from the home advantage in the internal Asian playoff, where the 2015 AFC Asian Cup champions had to face Syria in quite a dramatic two-legged matchup. The living legend of Australian soccer Tim Cahill became the hero once again after scoring twice in Sydney, including an extra-time winner in the 109th minute, since both games have ended 1:1 in regular 90 minutes. With that brace Cahill already has 50 goals in 103 international caps, as the 37-years-old forward (who will turn 38 in less than a month) convincingly is the country’s all-time top scorer, but he can either level or improve Mark Schwarzer’s record of 109 international caps, especially if the Aussies qualify to the next year’s World Cup.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Ange Postecoglou’s side was heavily disappointed after finishing third in qualifying group B, remaining behind Japan and Saudi Arabia, so “The Socceroos” are set for a very tricky challenge in Honduras’ face. The Aussies are not in a position to underestimate their opponents, not even for a single moment, and Ange Postecoglou will be keen to get a good result before the second clash in Sydney. This clearly means Australia needs to score at least one goal and avoid a defeat at any price.
Two main points – Australia’s coach will most likely stick to a formation with three centre-backs and will try to keep veteran Tim Cahill fresh for the second round, like he already did against Syria. Milos Degenek and Trent Sainsbury are favourites to be part of that defensive trio, while Bailey Wright, who performs very well with his club Bristol City in the English Championship, can replace Matthew Jurman, who started in both games vs Syria. Another player who seems to be in-form at his club (Bursaspor) is Aziz Behich and the left-back looks favourite to start here, especially when Brad Smith will miss out due to an injury picked up early in the second leg against Syria.
If we assume that Tim Cahill will be rested for the second leg, then Tomi Juric looks favourite to start on top of Australia’s formation and the striker of Swiss Luzern can get support by a duo Tom Rogic-Robbie Kruse from the second position.
Another key player, Matthew Leckie, missed the last few games with his club Hertha BSC but should be fit and ready to start for Australia in the second inter-continental playoff. Even if he is fully fit for the first leg, Leckie won’t be available since he and captain Mark Milligan are both suspended. And when it comes to Australia’s midfield, Massimo Luongo is expected to start next to Aaron Mooy considering Milligan’s absence.
Honduras can feel inspired by their most recent results and Jorge Luis Pinto is definitely tempted to repeat the same success he accomplished with Costa Rica at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately, Colombian coach won’t be able to use two key players who are both suspended for the first leg – captain and most capped player Maynor Figueroa, as well as Alberth Elis, who represents a great threat for the enemy with his Houston Dynamo teammate Romell Quioto, both pushing through the wings.
Veteran Maynor Figueroa can be replaced by Johnny Palacios who should start as a centre-back alongside Henry Figueroa, while another player of Houston Dynamo, Boniek García, is likely to replace Alberth Elis at the right wing.
Striker Eddie Hernandez will miss out as well and should be replaced by Barcelona B’s forward Anthony Lozano. Another veteran Carlo Costly is also an alternative to lead the Honduran front line.
Honduras vs Australia Prediction and Betting Tips
Honduras and Australia can be a little more cautious from the outset, not wanting to give their opponents the upper hand before the second match only couple of days later. Nevertheless, absences of some key players with certain contribution to the overall performances of each side may reflect over their composure and balance.
Hosts Honduras have scored in each and conceded at least one goal in every of their last four competitive fixtures, as well as in five out of six last World Cup qualifiers. Last time when Honduras couldn’t score at home was in a surprising defeat to Panama exactly one year ago, but have scored against Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, USA and Mexico ever since.
“Socceroos” will cross the Pacific Ocean and cover a long distance to Honduras (almost 10 000 miles and over 15 000 kilometers) with a clear ambition to scoop a pleasing result. However, Australia have not won away from home since early September last year, when they won 0:1 in the UAE. Thereafter “Socceroos” have four draws and a defeat when visiting Japan in following five qualifying games on the road. The 2:0 loss in Japan from end of August was the only game where Australia couldn’t score but has been preceded by three more games at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Ange Postecoglou’s men have scored in all fixtures, achieving two 1:1 draws vs Cameroon and Chile, and losing 3:4 from the World Cup champion Germany.
Final conclusion and Betting Tips
We have three betting tips on the upcoming World Cup playoff between Honduras and Australia. First, we believe that both sides are capable to score and their attacking lines can bring us some good profits at currently suggested betting odds for “Both teams to score – Yes“. Second – we place a small stake on “1:1” as a potential final score in the first leg. Well, another betting prediction inspired by our expectations for a balanced matchup recommends another small stake on a “Draw (X)” – 1X2 Betting. Honduras and Australia will keep the intrigue alive for the second round.
Possible Lineups of Honduras and Australia
Venue: “Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano”, San Pedro Sula.
Referee: Daniele Orsato from Italy.
Honduras: Donis Escober – Emilio Izaguirre, Johnny Palacios, Henry Figueroa, Brayan Beckeles – Alfredo Mejía, Jorge Claros – Romell Quioto, Alexander Lopez, Boniek García – Anthony Lozano. (4-2-3-1)
Australia: Mathew Ryan – Milos Degenek, Bailey Wright, Trent Sainsbury – Josh Risdon, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy, Aziz Behich – Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse – Tomi Juric. (3-4-2-1)