GROUP F: Plenty of strike power but can Paraguay score goals?

The Paraguay side circa 2010 has a plethora of goalscoring options but can they put it all together to make any in-roads in the World Cup.

The Paraguay side circa 2010 has a plethora of goalscoring options but can they put it all together to make any in-roads in the World Cup.

Led by Roque Santa Cruz who is well-supported by Oscar Cardozo, Lucas Barrios and Cristian Riveros, La Albirroja should be able to find the back of the net but it is a question of whether they actually will.

A total of 11 goals in as many matches in the past three World Cups suggest that the Paraguayans freeze on the big stage but two Round of 16 performances tells us that they do indeed have ability and a will to succeed.

South American football is often described as inconsistent and that is something the Paraguay supporters might have to get used to as a transition phase is under way following the retirement of experienced players like Jose Luis Chilavert, Carlos Gamarra, Francisco Arce and Celso Ayala in recent times.

They should be strong enough to again make it through to the second phase but a likely Round of 16 clash with Holland is where it all ends in 2010.

Paraguay

Playing schedule: Italy (Cape Town) June 14; Slovakia (Bloemfontein) June 20; New Zealand (Polokwane) June 24

Also known as: Guaranies or La Albirroja (White & Red)
Manager: Gerardo Martin (ARG)
Captain: Denis Caniza
Key players: Paulo da Silva, Roque Santa Cruz, Justo Villar
Wildcard: Oscar Cardozo
Player to watch: Lucas Barrios
Most caps: Carlos Gamarra (110). Of this squad: Denis Caniza (97)
Top goalscorer: Jose Saturnino Cardozo (25). Of this squad: Roque Santa Cruz (21)
FIFA ranking: 31
Qualifying: 3rd in CONMEBOL group stage
Appearance: 8th
Best result: Round of 16 – 1986, 1998 & 2002

Paraguay squad

Goalkeeper

Justo Villar (Real Valladolid)
Aldo Bobadilla Independiente Medellin)
Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteno)

Defenders

Denis Caniza (Leon)
Dario Veron (Puma)
Julio Caceres (Atletico Mineiro)
Paulo da Silva (Sunderland)
Claudio Morel Rodriguez (Boca Juniors)
Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan)
Carlos Bonet (Olimpia)
Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo)

Midfielders

Cristian Riveros (Sunderland)
Enrique Vera (LDU Quito)
Edgar Barreto (Atalanta)
Jonathan Santana (Wolfsburg)
Victor Caceres (Libertad)
Nestor Ortigoza (Argentinos Juniors)

Forwards

Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City)
Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund)
Oscar Cardozo (Benfica)
Edgar Benitez (Pachuca)
Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund)
Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad)

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