CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers: Paraguay vs Bolivia preview

Paraguay vs Bolivia
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
09/06/2012, 16.00 hs (21.00 BST)
CONEMBOL World Cup Qualifier
TV: SNT, Telefuturo (Paraguay)

Victor Genes started his tenure well with a credible 3-3 draw against Germany in Kaiserslautern having turned his back on much of the old guard that had been features of the qualifying campaign to date. Instead there is an exciting crop of young players including a large contingent from Genes´U20s squad. The most exciting prospect is undoubtedly Antonio Sanabria of Barcelona who made his Paraguay debut against Germany but an appearance against Bolivia would lock him in as a Paraguayan international in FIFA´s eyes and denying Spain the possibilty of snapping the striker up. For more on the squad you can check the earlier blog post here. 

Photo courtesy of Prensa Seleccion Paraguaya

Photo courtesy of Prensa Seleccion Paraguaya

Genes went for three at the back against Germany although one of his central defenders is unavailable having been sent home by the Paraguayan national team’s medical staff. Pablo Aguilar´s low platelet count, which the player says hasn’t affected him at Tijuana, was deemed by doctors as too risky to allow the ex-Luque man to play. With Antolín Alcaraz also injured it means 20-year-old Gustavo Gómez is set to partner Da Silva and Candia. Fabbro could also start as the playmaker behind Paraguay’s all-time topscorer Roque Santa Cruz and the newest hope, Antonio Sanabria. Victor Ayala will be on set pieces, the source of 3 of Paraguay’s last 4 goals in home World Cup Qualifiers. Wilson Pittoni retains his place having dominated the German midfield in a riproaring first half display in Kaiserslautern.

Paraguay train in Ypané sunset - Photo: Prensa Seleccion Paraguaya

Paraguay train in Ypané sunset – Photo: Prensa Seleccion Paraguaya

Bolivia are set to field a young team, they have a lot of players on yellow cards and want to save them for the more winnable home game against Ecuador. There is no Alejandro Chumacero, Rony Jiménez, or Henry Justiniano amongst others. The local paper La Razón suggests that the Spaniard Xabier Azkargorta will line his team up defensively with five defenders in a bid to try and stifle Paraguay and earn a draw. Having said that the dangermen Rudy Cardozo and Marcelo Martins are included, I imagine Cardozo to be the main threat on the break with his pace a potential problem.

Paraguay XI (Probable): Anthony Silva; Salustiano Candia, Paulo de Silva, Gustavo Gómez; Victor Ayala, Wilson Pittoni, Richard Ortiz, Miguel Samudio; Jonathan Fabbro; Anotnio Sanabria, Roque Santa Cruz

Prediction: Paraguay´s home record isn’t what it used to be but you have to go back to a friendly in 2007 for a Bolivia win away, they should edge this 2-0

SELECTED ODDS: Paraguay win 1.44, Draw 4.8, Bolivia win 9.8, 2-0  home win 7.4, Under 2.5 goals 1.69

BEST BET: All Paraguay’s goals at home have come in the 2nd half during this qualification campaign, so I like Draw/Paraguay with a small stake

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Stats

There is a Bolivia vs Paraguay Stat Attack which includes every game apart from the most recent meeting, the 3-1 loss in La Paz – here are some head-to-heads updated

Head-to-Head

Paraguay vs Bolivia Overall

Pld 65 W 32 D 17 L 14 GF 123 GA 65

Paraguay vs Bolivia World Cup Qualifiers

Pld 15 W 8 D 3 L 4 GF 29 GA 16

Paraguay vs Bolivia World Cup Qualifiers in Paraguay

Pld 7 W 7 D 0 L 0 GF 21 GA 3

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Paraguay Squad

Paraguay squad to play Bolivia and Argentina

Paraguay squad to play Bolivia and Argentina

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By Ralph Hannah

Author’s Note: All odds via Betfair and correct at the time of writing

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