Paraguay vs El Salvador
Estadio Nicolas Leóz, Asunción
06/02/2013; 20:30 (23:30 GMT)
TV: Telefuturo, Paravision (both Paraguay)
Paraguay play their first game of the year against another CONCACAF side, El Salvador, it is the sixth consecutive friendly game they have faced a team from the region. The game takes place at Libertad’s ground and is the only run out before the two tricky away qualifiers next month in Uruguay and Ecuador.
Gerardo Pelusso has called up Robin Ramirez who last represented the albirroja under Chiqui Arce in their very first qualifier against Peru in Lima. He has also handed a debut call-up to Ivan Gonzalez Ferreira who played well for Guaraní last season and is one of several home-based players in a midfield that includes Cerro Porteño trio Jonathan Fabbro, Julio Dos Santos and Fidencio Oviedo while youngsteres Silvio Torales and Richard Ortiz are also part of the camp. There is a strong Mexican flavour with Paulo Aguilar, Paulo Da Silva and Edgar Benítez joining Ramirez from up north.
Interested to see how Pelusso plays, he usually prefers three central midfielders in a 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2 formation with at least one physical striker and another pacey one. In the previous friendly the trio up front was Luis Caballero flanked by Edgar Benítez and José Ariel Nuñez all of whom are in this squad. In defence it is likely to be Ivan Piris at full back with the two Paulos in central defence.
I know very little about El Salvador, their former boss was Ruben Israel now at Libertad and their only foreign-based player is Rafael Burgos of Kesckeméti in Hungary.
Paraguay XI (probable): Diego Barreto; Ivan Piris, Paulo Da Silva, Pablo Aguilar, Lorenzo Melgarejo; Victor Ayala, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos; Edgar Benítez, Nelson Haedo or Luis Caballero, José Ariel Nuñez
Selected Odds: Paraguay win 1.32, Draw 5.4, El Salvador win 8.4; Under 2.5 goals 1.99
Best Bet: A Paraguayan victory is expected so there is no value there, unders is my option because Paraguay don’t usually score many (see below) and I only expect the game to go overs if El Salvador manage to score. As a secondary bet look into Paraguay winning at Half-Time (currently 1.8) as they’ve been leading at HT in 8 of their previous 11 friendlies.
Paraguay vs El Salvador head-to-head: Pld 4 W 4 D 0 L 0 GF 7 GA 1
(Most recent meeting was 2005 in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay won 3-0)
Paraguay average goals scored (Pelusso era): 1.3
Paraguay average goals conceded (Pelusso era): 1.83
Paraguay average goals per game (Pelusso era): 3.17
Paraguay last 5 home friendlies
Pld 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 GF 8 GA 2
Paraguay Full Squad
Goalkeepers: Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay), Antony Silva (Deportes Tolima, Colombia), Carlos Servín (Rubio Ñu, Paraguay)
Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Pachuca, México), Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana, México), Iván Piris (Roma, Italia), Marcos Cáceres (Newell’s Old Boys, Argentina), Lorenzo Melgarejo (Benfica, Portugal), Miguel Samudio (Libertad, Paraguay), Pedro Benítez (Libertad, Paraguay), Salustiano Candia (Olimpia, Paraguay)
Midfielders: Víctor Cáceres (Flamengo, Brasil), Jonathan Fabbro (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay), Fidencio Oviedo (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay), Víctor Ayala (Lanús, Argentina), Julio Dos Santos (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia, Paraguay), Silvio Torales (Nacional, Paraguay), Iván González Ferreira (Guaraní, Paraguay)
Forwards: Nelson Haedo (Valencia, España), Edgar Benítez (Toluca, México), Luis Neri Caballero (Samara, Rusia), José Ariel Núñez (Libertad, Paraguay), Robin Ramírez (Pumas UNAM, México)
By Ralph Hannah