Report by Suresh Iyer
Spain and Paraguay meet in the previous of the four quarter finals of the Entire world Cup in Johannesburg, on Saturday.
Spain, joint-favourites with Brazil, for the title, started disastrously, losing their first match in group H, to Switzerland. the reduction acted as a wake up get in touch with, and Spain arrived back again into the tournament with a vengeance, winning three matches on the trot. Spain have gone from power to strength, and appear shut to attaining the championship sort they shown at Euro 2008.
Paraguay’s type curve has been going downward, with each successive match, the very last one particular against Japan resulting in a goalless draw. Paraguay competent for the quarter-last by prevailing five-three in a penalty shoot out.
Spain won three-1 against Paraguay in the 2002 Planet Cup. The two other matches among the teams met at Entire world Cup finals ended in draws.
In their round of 16 match against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Spain showed why they are so hugely rated. Their win by a solitary goal is scant reflection of their masterclass in the game, the lower margin is only an indication of the brilliant job done by Portugal’s keeper Eduardo, on the day.
David Villa has indubitably been the player of the tournament, leading up to the quarter-finals. He is in joint spot as best scorer in the tournament. Fernando Torres is also on way to his best form, with an improved displaying from portugal, following a instead indifferent functionality in the group matches. He was the spearhead of the attack, and the Portugal central defenders were fully occupied making an attempt to retain Torres tranquil, therefore providing Andres Iniesta and Villa possibilities.
Fernando Llorente came in for Torres late in the game, and practically scored. Coach Bosque is even now probably to go with Torres in Saturday’s quarter last. Iniesta and Hernandes had been really powerful in the midfield against Portugal. Xabi acted as quiet playmaker to Sergio Busquet’s aggression. Spain did not rely on Cesc Fabregas and David Silva in the event. Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevilla have been pacy in the wings, whilst Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol lent solidity to the back again-line, the lone weak website link getting captain Iker Casillas, who had the Jambulani blues, on the day.
While Spain will go for all out aggression, Paraguay are probable to try and soak up stress in defence as they did in opposition to Italy, in their first group game.
Spain ought to be wary, so as not to shed focus and undergo a setback as in the Switzerland game.
Paraguay commenced with a reliable defensive game from Italy. They followed this up with a walk in the park in opposition to Slovakia. their final drawn group game from New Zealand saw their functionality decline. Their inability to score in open play acquired underscored in the Japan match in the round of 16.
Roque Santa Cruz has very own poor finishing although Enrique Vera has toiled in vain to develop possibilities. Antonio Alcaraz and Paulo Da Silva have been sound in defence, but are probably to be examined in opposition to the Spanish armada. Lucas Barrios, Paraguay’s attacking spearhead has been between the few amazing performers. Paraguay’s only wish lies in hard tackles, and in trying to keep Xavi and Iniesta at bay. They will hope to suffocate the Spainiards, and score on the counter.
David Villa’s deft 1st touch and all set potential to shoot have exemplified Spain’s success story, so far. in devastating type.
For Paraguay, Lucas Barrios has been the guy in sort, regardless of whether in dribbling or in creative considering.
Del Bosque is unlikely to tinker with the beginning eleven for Spain despite the temptation of replacing Torres with Llorente.
Paraguay will also stick to the experimented with and tested Santa Cruz and Barrios as strikers, Vera and Riveros calling the shots in midfield, and Ortigoza providing porotection to the back again four, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Morel and Bonet.
This match can only go one way, furnished Spain retain their composure.
About the Writer
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Suresh Iyer is an avid sports activities fan and blogger.