Paraguay are the great overachievers of South American football, competing in their fourth successive World Cup despite having a population of just 6.5m. The Guaran� always looked in control during qualifying, beating Argentina, Brazil and Chile. They have made the last 16 in two of the last three World Cups, and a kind draw means hopes are high they can do so again in 2010.
However, the last 18 months have been difficult. A slightly disappointing end to qualifying saw Paraguay limp across the finishing line, and subsequent friendly results have been mixed - a creditable draw with the Netherlands was preceded by defeat by Qatar. While undoubtedly strong up front, due to the likes of Roque Santa Cruz and Oscar Cardozo, they are short of creativity and goal threat from midfield, so coach Gerardo Martino must make up for those shortcomings by getting his tactics right. He has experimented with both 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 and beat Brazil using three strikers, an uncharacteristically bold selection. That fluidity could make Paraguay awkward opponents.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.