World Cup 2018 Playoff: Back Australia to beat Honduras without conceding to seal World Cup berth
November 16, 2017
Recommended Bet: To Win to Nil – Australia to Win to Nil @ 13/8 (2.63) with Sportsbet
Following Friday’s goalless draw with Honduras at the Estádio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, it’s advantage Australia as their convoluted qualification bid for the finals of World Cup 2018 in Russia reaches its final obstacle with the 2nd leg of their Intercontinental play-off at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Australia had the better of a scrappy 1st leg on a poor pitch and in front of a vociferous home support but, although they now have a definite edge, the lack of an away goal does leave the tie in the balance.
The Socceroos are not in the best run of form, having won just one of their last nine matches inside 90-minutes, but then Honduras were less than convincing in most of their CONCACAF qualifiers and many of their best and most experienced players have retired from international football in the last few years.
Neither of these teams is particularly prolific in terms of goal scoring either, whilst the Catrachos are also known for the physical side of their game and, given what’s at stake, it would be no surprise were they to end the game with fewer than 11 players on the pitch.
The Socceroos will be hoping that the legendary Tim Cahill has recovered sufficiently from an ankle injury to play his part if required, whilst Honduras welcome back arguably their biggest goal threat in Alberth Elis, the 21 year-old Houston Dynamos striker who was suspended for the 1st leg.
Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto has a fine pedigree, with the Colombian having taken Costa Rica all the way to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2014, but although this is likely to be fiercely contested, it looks likely that it will be his opposite number, Ange Postecoglou, who will be celebrating qualification for Russia 2018.
Honduras offered little attacking threat in the 1st leg and it would seem probable that they will be on the back foot in Sydney too. One goal may well be sufficient for the Socceroos, so backing an Australia victory without conceding at 13/8 (2.63) with Sportsbet looks worthy of a bet.