FIFA World Cup Quarter-final Preview: Spain vs Paraguay

Write-up by Suresh Iyer

Spain and Paraguay meet in the very last of the four quarter finals of the Globe Cup in Johannesburg, on Saturday.

Spain, joint-favourites with Brazil, for the title, commenced disastrously, losing their first match in group H, to Switzerland. the loss acted as a wake up call, and Spain arrived back again into the tournament with a vengeance, successful three matches on the trot. Spain have gone from power to strength, and appear shut to attaining the championship kind they shown at Euro 2008.

Paraguay’s form curve has been going downward, with each and every successive match, the previous a single versus Japan resulting in a goalless draw. Paraguay qualified for the quarter-last by prevailing five-3 in a penalty shoot out.

Spain won 3-one in opposition to Paraguay in the 2002 Entire world Cup. The two other matches between the groups met at Globe Cup finals ended in draws.

In their spherical of 16 match in opposition to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Spain showed why they are so hugely rated. Their win by a solitary objective is scant reflection of their masterclass in the sport, the low margin is only an indication of the brilliant job carried out by Portugal’s keeper Eduardo, on the day.

David Villa has indubitably been the player of the tournament, main up to the quarter-finals. He is in joint location as top scorer in the tournament. Fernando Torres is also on way to his very best form, with an enhanced showing towards portugal, soon after a rather indifferent performance in the group matches. He was the spearhead of the assault, and the Portugal central defenders had been fully occupied trying to hold Torres peaceful, thus giving Andres Iniesta and Villa opportunities.

Fernando Llorente came in for Torres late in the game, and practically scored. Coach Bosque is nonetheless most likely to go with Torres in Saturday’s quarter last. Iniesta and Hernandes had been extremely helpful in the midfield versus Portugal. Xabi acted as tranquil playmaker to Sergio Busquet’s aggression. Spain did not depend on Cesc Fabregas and David Silva in the event. Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevilla were pacy in the wings, even though Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol lent solidity to the back-line, the lone weak website link currently being captain Iker Casillas, who had the Jambulani blues, on the day.

While Spain will go for all out aggression, Paraguay are possible to try and soak up strain in defence as they did towards Italy, in their first group sport.

Spain really should be wary, so as not to eliminate focus and experience a setback as in the Switzerland sport.

Paraguay began with a stable defensive sport in opposition to Italy. They followed this up with a walk in the park versus Slovakia. their final drawn group game towards New Zealand saw their performance decline. Their inability to score in open play acquired underscored in the Japan match in the spherical of 16.

Roque Santa Cruz has personal poor finishing while Enrique Vera has toiled in vain to develop opportunities. Antonio Alcaraz and Paulo Da Silva have been stable in defence, but are likely to be examined against the Spanish armada. Lucas Barrios, Paraguay’s attacking spearhead has been among the handful of extraordinary performers. Paraguay’s only hope lies in challenging tackles, and in maintaining Xavi and Iniesta at bay. They will hope to suffocate the Spainiards, and score on the counter.

David Villa’s deft very first touch and all set capacity to shoot have exemplified Spain’s success story, so far. in devastating kind.

For Paraguay, Lucas Barrios has been the guy in type, whether in dribbling or in innovative thinking.

Del Bosque is unlikely to tinker with the starting up eleven for Spain in spite of the temptation of changing Torres with Llorente.

Paraguay will also stick to the tried and examined Santa Cruz and Barrios as strikers, Vera and Riveros calling the shots in midfield, and Ortigoza providing porotection to the back four, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Morel and Bonet.

This match can only go a single way, provided Spain retain their composure.

About the Writer

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Suresh Iyer is an avid sports fan and blogger.