It’s crunch time for Honduras and Australia with their World Cup fate set to be determined by 180 minutes of action over the next week in San Pedro Sula and Sydney. Two more different venues you’d struggle to find and it will be a hostile welcome for the Socceroos who will be keen to secure something from the 1st Leg. Overall it’s a game that promises to deliver goals.
All of the four games involving Honduras this season have seen both teams score. The most recent, a dramatic 3-2 home win over Mexico secured 4th place in the CONCACAF region at the expense of the United States, to set up this inter-continental play-off.
Their main dangerman is Romell Quioto. He’s scored 7 times in his debut MLS season and has already netted key goals for Honduras this term in their home qualifiers against both USA and Mexico, which suggests he has a taste for the big games. Backing Quioto to score anytime could be worth a punt here.
Honduras do have defensive vulnerabilities though. They’ve conceded in all of their last 5 games and were hammered 6-0 in their away game against the USA. They let in 1.9 goals per game on average during the final group stage in the CONCACAF zone so there is plenty of hope for Australia despite their status as underdogs in the 1st Leg.
The Socceroos would have been hoping to secure automatic qualification to Russia but they ended up in the play-offs and were pushed very hard by Syria who took them to Extra Time in the last round. Both teams scored in each leg of that tie and 6 of Australia’s last 7 internationals have produced goals at both ends. A record of just 1 clean sheet in 14 internationals suggests that like Honduras, they have problems at the back, and going for Both Teams to Score looks like the smart bet here.
It should be a close tie overall and it’s hard to call who will emerge from it with a place at the 2018 World Cup. Given 3 of Honduras’ last 6 games and 4 of Australia’s last 6 have finished level, backing the Draw could be worth a bet here.