Argentina wary of Honduran threat

Though the draw for Group A has been unquestionably tough on Argentina, having been placed in the same section as world champions Nigeria and European title holders Germany, spare a thought for poor Honduras, the final component of this fearsome foursome. However, the CONCACAF side do have the edge on their more lauded rivals in one important area: the pressure is well and truly off their shoulders.

The game
Honduras - Argentina, Saturday 24 October, Abuja, 16.00 (local time)

The stakes
Up against one of the title contenders, Honduras have little to lose, a factor that could work in their favour as they take the fight to the mighty Albiceleste. Los Catrachos have also set themselves the goal of bettering their predecessors' performance at Korea 2007, the first time Honduras had reached the U-17 showpiece, where the team conceded ten goals and lost all three of their games. Should coach Eugenio Umanzor's charges need any extra motivation, four of those ten strikes were hit by Argentina.

For the South Americans, meanwhile, nothing less than three points will do, while a healthy goal haul would also do their confidence no harm ahead of the meetings with Germany and Nigeria. At the Argentinian helm is Jose Luis Brown, a scorer in his country's FIFA World Cup™ Final win at Mexico 1986, and who should therefore know a thing or two about global competitions. Also in La Albiceleste's favour will be the top-flight experience of striker Daniel 'Keko' Villalva, acquired at no less a side than Buenos Aires giants River Plate.

The stat
7 -
Argentina's record number of penalties scored at FIFA U-17 World Cup finals. Honduran defenders looking to win the ball in the box, you have been warned.

The words
"We've been drawn against three of the contenders for the world title but we've no intention of giving up without a fight. We're convinced that the team will give a good account of themselves," Honduras coach Eugenio Umanzor.

"Honduras may perhaps be a notch below us, but that doesn't mean that the match is already won - far from it. But we are hoping for the win because that would set us up well for our second encounter," Argentina coach Jose Luis Brown.