England v Honduras: World Cup 2014 warm-up match preview

A look ahead to England’s final friendly match before the World Cup begins

England are just a week away from the ‘Group of Death’ opener against Italy in Manaus but before then they take part in their final warm-up match against fellow World Cup competitors Honduras.

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling will not be at Roy Hodgson’s disposal as he will be serving a one-match ban after being sent off for a hard tackle at Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia.

Unfortunately, the Three Lions’ manager is facing more important problems than that as winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain poses serious doubts as to whether he will be able to play at the group stage. The Arsenal player limped off during Wednesday’s friendly after suffering a medial knee ligament injury. Nevertheless, Hodgson and the medical team are confident the Arsenal midfielder can still play a part in Brazil.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Luke Shaw both came off the pitch with cramp but are considered fit for Saturday’s clash.

In the meantime, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has addressed all the criticism that came most prominently from his former team-mate Paul Scholes. The 28-year-old said that he has absolutely no interest in listening to what anyone else has to say about his form except his manager and coaching staff. He'll hope to back that up by adding to the goal he scored against Ecuador.

 

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 9:45pm (BST)

 

PAST MEETINGS…

England and Honduras have never met before.

 

STATS…

This is the first time these two teams will square off.

The Honduran roster consists of a few Premier League players but the most notable is Hull City defender Maynor Figueroa. The former Wigan player’s amazing goal from his own half against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium was voted as Goal of the Season four years ago.

La H picked up only two clean sheets in 10 qualifying matches and scored just 13 goals, which is one more than the number they conceded.

Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez is no stranger to the World Cup as he guided Ecuador to the Round of 16 eight years ago. La Tri got eliminated by England thanks to a David Beckham free kick.

The Three Lions are obviously on better form than their opposition as they picked up one win and one draw in their last two warm-up matches. Honduras have lost both games to Turkey and Israel.

Wayne Rooney has yet to score a goal in the World Cup finals.

 

ODDS…

England to win: 4.9

Honduras to win: 17.2

Draw: 7.2

 

TV: Live on ITV at 9:45pm

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