Bolivia vs Paraguay
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
17/01/2013, 17:45 (20:45 GMT)
Despite losing their previous game against Chile, Paraguay’s destiny is in their own hands as they take on Bolivia tonight. A win and they qualify at the expense of their opponents and hosts Argentina. With that in mind we may see a Bolivian side ‘incetivised’ to win and let’s hope there is no skullduggery or foul play (Copa Sudamericana final springs to mind).
Rodrigo Alborno impressed as a substitute in the previous game and he should find a starting spot on the left hand side of midfield with Balbuena being rested. In defence there may be changes with Paredes, Gomez and Perez having started all three games, fatigue is of course an issue for these youngsters. Paraguay’s problem so far has been working in units across the pitch, there is a need for more intergration with midfield and attack. We’ve seen the proof that when they win the ball high up they have the technical capability to put together excellent offensive moves; the problem comes when they recover possession in their own half as there is rarely a striker dropping deep or a simple midfield option and the ball is quickly lost. Paraguay must get tighter against Bolivia to ensure they don’t leave huge holes in middle of the park.
Bolivia prepared extensively for this tournament but following a famous draw with Argentina they crashed to a six-nil defeat against Colombia which must have destroyed confidence. They will want to beat Paraguay to try and qualify and they will have plenty of support from the home side who will want a draw or a narrow Bolivia win to give Argentina a hope of progressing.
Paraguay XI (possible): Diego Morel; Matias Perez, Gustavo Gomez, Junior Alonso; Jorge Rojas, Iván Ramirez, Miguel Almirón, Rodrigo Alborno; Derlis Gonzalez, Cecilio Dominguez, Bryan Montenegro
Prediction: Assuming it is a level playing field, Paraguay will win 4-2
By Ralph Hannah