Paraguay vs Peru
Defensores del Chaco
16/10/2012, 19:00 hs (23:00 BST)
Paraguay were unable to hold off Colombia’s tiger last week as they slipped to their fifth straight defeat of the qualifying campaign and Gerardo Pelusso earned the unwanted record of becoming the first ever Paraguay manager to lose his first three World Cup Qualifiers. He has a chance to make amends on Tuesday night with a home game against fellow strugglers Peru. The last meeting in Lima (where Paraguay have never won) was a 2-0 victory to Sergio Markarian’s side.
Paraguay have lost two players to suspension following their bookings against Colombia, Richard Ortiz and Marcelo Estigarribia are out meaning Miguel Samudio comes in at left back while Jonathan Fabbro will start in a re-structured midfield. It seems Pelusso will go for a 4-3-1-2 formation this time as he keeps tinkering with his side, unable to find the right balance. Behind Fabbro will be his Cerro Porteño teammates Fidencio Oviedo and Julio Dos Santos with Cristian Riveros the only survivor from Friday night. Up front Luis Caballero is brought in to partner Nelson Haedo, physical presence preferred to pace as José Nuñez makes way.
During the game in Lima, Markarian surprised then manager Chiqui Arce with the pace of his side particularly when pressing. Both goals that day were scored by Paolo Guerrero who was going through a purple patch having finished topscorer in the 2011 Copa America, he will be the man to watch again. Much like the game against Colombia, Paraguay must try to stop the ball arriving to Guerrero or his partner Claudio Pizarro because if either get one-on-one with their marker it will be dangerous. Having watched Markarian’s teams in away games previously, their main threat is likely to be on the counter attack so the narrow midfield that Pelusso has opted for seems to be a good tactic.
Prediction: Paraguay’s qualifying campaign has been historically bad but I can’t see another unbeaten record falling, 1-0
Paraguay XI (probable): Justo Villar; Iván Piris, Pablo Aguilar, Salustiano Candia, Miguel Samudio; Cristian Riveros, Julio Dos Santos, Fidencio Oviedo, Jonathan Fabbro; Luis Caballero, Nelson Haedo
Peru XI (probable): Raúl Fernández; Luís Advíncula, Carlos Zambrano, Alberto Rodríguez, Yoshimar Yotún; Jefferson Farfán, Luís Ramírez, Rinaldo Cruzado, Juan Vargas; Claudio Pizarro, Paolo Guerrero.
SELECTED ODDS: Paraguay win 1.93; Draw 3.65; Peru win 4.7; 1-0 scoreline 7.4; Under 2.5 goals 1.82
BEST BET: If the rains continue in Asunción then expect a soggy pitch and a dire game, unders could be the way to go here
STATS AND TRIVIA
Paraguay have never lost to Peru on home soil
Paraguay vs Peru Head-to-Head (World Cup Qualifiers)
Pld 11 W 4 D 3 L 4 GF 14 GA 14
There is a whole blog post dedicated to stats which you can check out here.
PARAGUAY FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Estudiantes LP), Antony Silva (Dep. Tolima), Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño)
Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Pachuca), Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana), Gustavo Mencia (Libertad), Claudio Vargas (Luque), Iván Piris (Roma), Pedro Benítez (Cerro Porteño), Miguel Samudio (Libertad), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia), Salustiano Candia (Olimpia)
Midfielders: Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo), Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor), Hernán Pérez (Villarreal), Víctor Ayala (Lanus), Marcelo Estigarribia (Sampdoria), Julio Dos Santos (Cerro Porteño), Fidencio Oviedo (Cerro Porteño), Jonathan Fabbro (Cerro Porteño), Silvio Torales (Nacional)
Strikers: José Ariel Nuñez (Libertad), Nelson Haedo (Valencia), Lucas Barrios (Guanzhou EverGrande), Édgar Benítez (Toluca), Luis Nery Caballero (Krylya Sovetov Samara)