Germany vs Paraguay
Fritz Walter Stadium, Kaiserslautern
14/08/2013; 14:45 (20:45 BST)
TV: Fox Sports 2 (Latin America)
Another new era begins, as Gerardo Martino is getting underway at Barcelona the Paraguayan national team still haven’t quite recovered from his departure in 2011. Chiqui Arce and Gerardo Pelusso have come and gone, and now Victor Genes has been handed a chance having done well with the U20s this year. His first game couldn’t be harder, facing a almost full-strength German side in their own backyard.
Genes has favoured some of those younger players in his squad, brushing aside players such as Oscar Cardozo, Lucas Barrios and even Nelson Haedo Valdez in search of fresh talent. Local lad Oscar Romero is one of six domestic-based players in the squad but the biggest news is the inclusion of 17-year-old Antonio Sanabria. The Barcelona striker has been starring for the Catalan youth team (Juvenil A) and could make his debut in senior football. For more information on the squad that has been chosen you can check here.
In terms of formation it is hard to tell, Genes mixed and matched during his time in charge of the U20s and one thing I noticed is that he is a shrewd adapter so expect some changes to made at halftime maybe even moving from a back four to a back three or vice versa. I’m fascinated to see who Genes trys to build around, the fact that Jonathan Fabbro has been picked makes me think he’ll feature (he’s hardly a super sub although Pelusso seemed to think so). Edgar Benítez should play up front on form, he has been Paraguay´s most consistent performer during these dark months and is the only forward with any hope of pegging back Philip Lahm.
I’m by no means the best qualified to talk about Germany and I think most readers know what to expect from Joachim Low´s side who are full of pace, flair and overflowing with attacking talent (they have scored at least 3 in their previous 4 games). They are five points clear in their World Cup Qualifying group, ranked second in the FIFA rankings and their only previous home game this year was a 4-1 win against Kazakhstan.
Germany XI (probable): Manuel Neuer; Philip Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer; Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, Lars Bender, Mesut Ozil, Marcos Reus, Miroslav Klose
Paraguay XI (probable): Justo Villar; Salustiano Candia, Pablo Aguilar, Paulo Da Silva; Victor Ayala, Wilson Pittoni, Richard Ortiz, Miguel Samudio; Jonathan Fabbro; Roque Santa Cruz, Edgar Benítez
Selected Odds: Germany win 1.25, Draw 7.2, Paraguay win 15.5; Under 2.5 goals 1.45; Both Teams To Score 1.96
Best Bet: Not even the most ardent Paraguay fan can think they will get something from the game, my punt will be for BTTS knowing that Germany have conceded plenty recently and the presence of Ayala and Fabbro can always cause problems from set pieces
Paraguay vs Germany head-to-head: Pld 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 GF 0 GA 1
(The game was the 2002 World Cup Second Round match in Jeju, South Korea)
Paraguay have played once before in Kaiserslautern, they won 2-0 versus Trinidad and Tobago in the
Justo Villar is set to win his 100th cap with the Albirroja
Paraguay last 5 friendlies
Pld 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 GF 11 GA 5
FULL PARAGUAY SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Justo Villar (Colo Colo, Chile) and Roberto Fernández (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay).
Defenders: Paulo Da Silva (Toluca, Mexico), Pablo Aguilar (Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles, Mexico), Lorenzo Melgarejo (Benfica, Portugal), Salustiano Candia (Olimpia, Paraguay), Miguel Samudio (Libertad, Paraguay) and Gustavo Gómez (Libertad, Paraguay)
Midfield: Cristian Riveros (Gremio, Brazil), Víctor Ayala (Lanús, Argentina), Richard Ortiz (Toluca, Mexico), Jonathan Fabbro (River Plate, Argentina), Osvaldo Martínez (América, Mexico), Jorge Rojas (Benfica, Portugal), Wilson Pittoni (Olimpia, Paraguay) and Óscar Romero (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay)
Strikers: Roque Santa Cruz (Málaga, Spain), Edgar Benítez (Toluca, Mexico), Luis Neri Caballero (Krylya Sovetov, Russia), José Ariel Núñez (Osasuna, Spain) and Antonio Sanabria (Barcelona, Spain)
By Ralph Hannah