Quarter Final – Paraguay vs Spain preview

Game:- Paraguay vs Spain
Competition :- 2010 FIFA World Cup
Venue :- Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesberg
Date :- Saturday, 3rd July 2010
KO time:- 20.30 South African time

Under Vicente del Bosque,Spain have finally seemed to have cracked the code of doing well in major international competitions. The entire world is expecting them to brush aside an industrious Paraguay side who enter into the quarters having fired blanks in the last two games. The odds at Paddy Power suggest that it would be a cruise for the Spaniards. There are some handsome rewards to be earned if you bet on a Paraguay win though.

Paraguay – last few games – most recent game on top
v.Japan – Draw 0-0
v.New Zealand – Draw 0-0
v.Slovakia – Win 2-0 (Vera, Riveros)
v.Italy – Draw 1-1 (Alcaraz)

Gerardo Martino is expected to sacrifice Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz in order to play Barrios, Valdez and Cardozo together in attack. Victor Caceres will return to the defensive midfielder’s role after serving a suspension. He will replace Ortigoza who started against Japan. Martino might also be tempted to recall natural right back Denis Caniza to keep an eye on Villa who will be playing on the left flank. Carlos Bonet could make way for the 35 year old veteran.

Spain – last few games – most recent game on top
v.Portugal – Win 1-0 (Villa)
v.Chile – Win 2-1 (Villa, Iniesta)
v.Honduras – Win 2-0 (Villa*2)
v.Switzerland – Loss 0-1
v.Poland – Win 6-0 (Villa,Silva,Alonso,Fabregas,Torres,Pedro)

La Furja Roja are a settled team. Del Bosque is sweating over the fitness of Xabi Alonso whose ankle is causing a lot of discomfort. Fabregas or Javier Martinez could get a look in from the start. The biggest selection dilemma though lies at the centre forward position. It would be interesting to see if the manager persists with a misfiring Torres or chooses to go with the muscular Fernando Llorente.

Verdict: Paraguay 0-2 Spain (Villa, Torres)

Fernando Torres to break his duck and lead Spain into the last four!

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