The Catrachos will enter the field at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano for the second match day of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying with a full head of steam, as a number of Luis Suarez's players have been at the top of their games of late for club and country.
Still, Suarez emphasized in an interview with the Honduran Football Federation website that even topping Mexico wouldn't assure anything in the scheme of the year-long competition to secure a spot in the 2014 World Cup.
"Beating Mexico would be a huge step in the right direction," the coach said. "Thinking that because we beat Mexico and the U.S. we're already in Brazil would be absurd."
Nevertheless, it's proved harder for some team members to get around the idea that six points from two games against two top regional rivals for spots in the World Cup wouldn't leave the Catrachos sitting pretty after two matches.
"Playing against Mexico is important," said attacker Jerry Bengtson, who arrived in Honduras from the United States after playing this past weekend with the New England Revolution. "We have to know what we're playing for. We'd like to get the win and keep the three points at home. [Goalkeeper] Donis [Escober] said that getting three points would be the equivalent of getting half a ticket to Brazil, and I'm inclined to agree."
Bengtson, a regular starter of late for Suarez, will have some solid company in the competition for attacking spots against Mexico. The Major League Soccer duo of Mario Martinez of the Seattle Sounders and Boniek Garcia of the Houston Dynamo arrive in top form, after their clubs completed the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round last week.
Midfielder and 2010 World Cup veteran Roger Espinoza of England's Wigan Athletic has also been impressive for his club of late, along with forward Jerry Palacios, who has scored seven goals for Alajuelense of Costa Rica this season.
"We know it's going to be a tough game, and that the Mexicans are going to have a great team," said Palacios. "But we have a great team too. We've shown that, and here at home we're going to put the pressure on. Hopefully we'll keep the three points here at home."
Honduras leads the Hexagonal after one round with three points. Mexico is among four teams tied in second place with one point from their first match, after a scoreless draw with Jamaica. The two take the field on Friday at 3 PM local time in San Pedro Sula.