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V/S

Argentina

Estadio Defensores del Chaco, AsunciA?n

Wednesday, 14th October 2015, 0000 GMT

***

World No. 1Ai??Argentina will be looking to bounce back from their shocking 2-0 defeat to Ecuador when they travel to Asuncion to face Paraguay in the second round of the CONMEBOL 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

TwoAi??goals in two minutes fromAi??Frickson Erazo and Felipe Caicedo gave Ecuador a shock win over Argentina on ThursdayAi??in Buenos Aires.

Paraguay, on the other hand, started off their World Cup qualification on a positive note as they beat Venezuela 1-0 in Puerto Ordaz. Midfielder Derlis Gonzalez struck the winning goal in the 85th minute after a defensive error by veteran Venezuelan centre-backAi??Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, to give Paraguay an impressive win away from home.

Team News and Tactics

Paraguay

Paraguay would be looking to continue their 100% start in the World Cup qualifiers when they face an Argentine side still smarting over theAi??defeat at the hands of the unfancied Ecuadorians.

Antony Silva will start in goal for the Paraguayans and will be looking to keep out a much depleted but still lethal Argentine attack.

Paraguay’s manager Ramon Diaz, who is an Argentine himself, will most likely deploy the same back four of Aguilar, Valdez, Samudio and Da Silva that successfully kept a clean sheet against Venezuela.

San Lorenzo star Nestor Ortigoza will partner Libertad’s Richard Otiz in central midfield for the Paraguayans with Benitez and Gonzalez occupying the wide positions. Derlis Gonzalez, who scored the winner for Paraguay against Venezuela, is a constant menace on the right wing and will pose a considerable threat to the Argentine left-backAi??Emmanuel MA?s.

Veteran striker Lucas Barrios will likely partner FC Copenhagen hitman Federico Santander up front for the Los GuaranAi??es La Albirroja.Ai??

generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate, generic hydrochloride trihydrate. Possible starting line-up (4-4-2): Silva; Aguilar, Valdez, Samudio, da Silva; Ortigoza, Ortiz, BenAi??tez, GonzA?lez; Barrios, Santander.

football formations

Argentina

Gerardo “Tata” Martino will struggle to put out a strong starting XI against Paraguay as his Argentina side have been ravaged by injuries to several regular starters.

Argentina’s inspirational captain Lionel Messi, who injured his knee ligaments playing for Barcelona a fortnight ago, is expected to stay out of action for another 5-6 weeks and will miss the qualifier against Paraguay. Joining him on the sidelines is fellow forward Sergio Aguero, who got substituted mid way through the first half against Ecuador after suffering a hamstring injury.

Lazio midfielder Lucas Biglia and Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo will also miss out for the La Albiceleste. Ezequiel Garay, who is the mainstay of the Argentine defence, will be unable to face Paraguay on Tuesday as he will be travelling to the United States in order to be present at his son’s birth.

Manchester United’s backup goalkeeper Sergio Romero will continue in goal for the Argentinians. Martino is expected to make wholesale changes in his back four. The fit-again Pablo Zabaleta is expected to replace Fiorentina defender Facundo Roncaglia at right-back with Emmanuel Mas occupying the left-back slot. Nicolas Otamendi will partner either Martin Demichelis or Ramiro Funes Mori at the centre of defence.

Highly rated 22-year-old River Plate midfielder Matias Kranevitter is expected to replace Lucas Biglia in midfield. He will function alongside Javier Mascherano as the double pivot in the midfield for the Argentines.

Javier Pastore will find it difficult to retain his place in attacking midfield after he put in a tepid display against Ecuador and is widely tipped to be replaced by his PSG colleague Ezequiel Lavezzi. Angel Correa is expected to retain his place in the attacking midfield birth alongside Angel Di Maria.

Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez, who came on for Sergio Aguero on Thursday, will lead the lineAi??forAi??La Albiceleste against Paraguay.

Possible starting line-up (4-2-3-1):Ai??Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolas Otamendi, Ramiro Funes Mori, Emmanuel Mas; MatAi??as Kranevitter, Javier Mascherano; Angel Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Angel Correa; Carlos Tevez.

Key stats

  • Paraguay have beaten Argentina justAi??15 times in history.Ai??Ai??
  • The last time Paraguay beat Argentina was inAi??2009 when Nelson Valdez scored the only goal of the game.
  • Argentina has recorded 59 wins over the Paraguayans, with 31 draws also having been played out.
  • The last meeting between the two ended in a thumping 6-1 victory for Argentina.
  • La Albiceleste have won five of their last six WC qualifiers by a margin of two goals or more.

Player to watch

Carlos Tevez

The 31-year-old veteran Argentine striker is expected to start up front for the Argentines in the absence of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. Tevez, who has often been overlooked by the national teamAi??managers over the past few years, was left out of Argentina’s 2014 World Cup squad altogether.

On the back of his spectacular performances for Juventus, Gerardo Martino selected Tevez for Argentina’s 2015 Copa America squad. Although he started most games from the bench, Tevez will forever be remembered forAi??scoringAi??the winning penalty for Argentina against South American rivals Colombia in the quarter finals of the tournament.

With Aguero out injured and Higuain out of form, El ApacheAi??will be desperate to grasp the opportunity and guide Argentina to their first win in the qualifiers.

Argentina national soccer team training session

Prediction

Paraguay 1 – 3 Argentina

Although the Argentines have lost stalwarts such as Messi and Aguero to injury, they still possess enough firepower to overcome the Paraguayans in Asuncion. Di Maria, Tevez, Correa and Lavezzi will be looking to cause significant damage to Paraguay’s rearguard and get on the scoresheet. Due to injuries, suspensions and unavailability of key players in defence, the Argentina backline will find it difficult to keep a clean sheet against the Paraguayans in front of a hostile home crowd. In the end though, Argentina should emerge as comfortable winners.

Blast from the past

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