by Jason Green of Predictem.com
The FIFA rankings for the teams in Group H are Spain 2nd, Chile 15th, Switzerland 26th, and Honduras 40th.
Spain was recently surpassed by Brazil as FIFA’s top-ranked team in the world, but they are still the major favorite to win Group H as well as having the best odds to win the World Cup. Spain used to be seen as a team that could not win the big one, as their best finish in the World Cup was 4th way back in 1950, but they did win the European Championships in 2008. Their offense is one of the best in the world with such players as David Villa, David Silva, and Fernando Torres. However, Torres, who is one of the best young strikers in the world, is coming off knee surgery and may not be ready for South Africa. They have a good D and great goalie play, but the one main weakness of the Spanish squad is that they have trouble with teams that play them very physical.
Chile looked great in World Cup qualifying and came in second in South America behind soccer powerhouse Brazil. They were legit on the road in qualifying, which serves them well in South Africa this summer. Chile attacks from the get-go and the strikers of Humberto Suazo of Monterrey and Alexis Sanchez of Udinese lead their offense. Chile made quite a few mistakes in qualifying, especially on defense, their weakness, which they cannot do this summer.
Switzerland won their qualifying group in Europe and they are making their 2nd straight World Cup appearance. The Swiss play great as a team and they need to do that since they lack many world-class players. Alexander Frei of FC Basel and Tranquillo Barnetta of Bayer Leverkusen lead their offense and they will be counted on to score this summer. Switzerland has a good defense anchored by G Diego Benaglio of VFL Wolfsburg and he may be the key player since the Swiss will be playing the solid offense teams of Spain and Chile.
Honduras is a major long shot to make it out of group play and they have not played in the World Cup since 1982. They will have to rely on their defense, which gave up the fewest goals in the CONCACAF World Cup qualification matches. Honduras has a good midfield and Carlos Pavon of Real Espana and David Suazo of Inter Milan lead their offense, but to score they may need to take advantage of counter-attack opportunities. They are a not a good team away from home and in every match in group play they will be a major underdog.
Here are the odds as of May 20th: