Switzerland, better known for its cow bells and chocolate has slowly matured like a fine Swiss cheese into a very respectable football team. They are currently ranked 6th in the world rankings and last time round beat Spain in the first game( I know that Spain lost this time as well, but that was different). An interesting phenomenon is that half of the Swiss squad consists of foreign born players especially from the Balkans and Turkey. I mention this as Switzerland has recently passed a referendum to limit immigration, which would have stopped the development of their current squad.
Prediction Switzerland to win
The second game sees France take on Honduras (19.00 GMT). This is the 3rd world cup for Honduras, and they have lost all their games to date, but they take their football very seriously in Honduras, so much so that in 1969 they had a short war with neighbouring El Salvador after a World cup qualifier between the 2 nations.
The French should win this comfortably, but if ever a nation could slip up, it is the French. Their temperament is suspect at least. In S Africa, 4 years ago, it didn't take long for the the stories of discord to come out of the French dressing room, once things started going wrong on the pitch. The French coach surprised many when he picked his squad for the world cup by leaving out one or two leading players. However those players were know to be problematic to say the least to dressing room harmony. They are also missing through injury, Frank Ribery, one of the more unpleasant looking players in modern football.
|Ribery and his scar|