Paraguay vs Peru
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
23/01/2013; 19:45 (22:45 GMT)
Arguably just a win away from the World Cup in Turkey, following their excellent victory over Chile, the Paraguayans take on a talented Peru side who played well against Uruguay only to lose. As we’ve seen so far, the albirrojita are best on the counter attack and that should suit them against a Peruvian side who dominated possession against the Celeste only to come unstuck against the pace of their opponent’s attack. With players like Jorge Rojas and Derlis Gonzalez, Paraguay will hope to play in a similar style.
Victor Genes seems to have settled on the 4-4-2 formation having experimented with three at the back earlier in the competition, his captain Gustavo Gómez has to sit out having been sent off against Chile but Teodoro Paredes returns from his suspension to slot in at centre-back. The main doubts are in central midfield with a decision between Ivan Ramirez or Miguel Almirón, both have shown great quality but Ramirez offers a more defensive option while Almirón is a better link to the forwards. The other question mark hangs over the striker to partner the excellent Derlis Gonzalez, Cecilio Dominguez is stronger holding up the ball and in my opinion has had a better tournament but Brian Montenegro has a tendency to drift out to the left which creates more space for the Benfica starlet. It is a tough decision.
Peru have got some talented players in Jordi Reyna and the captain Torrejón is excellent in the middle keeping moves ticking over with his short passing and intelligent movement. Their problem is at the back and they must defend well to get a result from this game, if the match becomes stretched it will favour the Paraguayans on the counter attack.
Paraguay XI (possible): Diego Morel; Miller Marecos, Teodoro Paredes, Matías Perez, Jorge Balbuena; Jorge Rojas, Angel Lucena, Miguel Almiron, Rodrigo Alborno; Derlis Gonzalez, Brian Montenegro
Stats: Paraguay vs Peru head-to-head in Sudamericano Sub 20 – Pld 13 W 10 D 1 L 2 GF 32 GA 15 (via Andres Riquelme)
Prediction: Paraguay will sneak a win, 2-1