It was in sharp contrast to Gerrard, who demonstrated his versatility with a block-busting performance in Beckham's traditional position on the right of midfield.
And Dyer was disappointed to miss a simple chance after 35 minutes when he shot straight at Tavarelli with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Paraguay showed flashes of South American flair as the interval approached, but England were in complete command.
And they sealed the victory within a minute of the re-start after Eriksson made six changes at half time.
Robbie Fowler created the goal for another replacement, his former Liverpool team-mate Murphy, who scored via a deflection from Carlos Gamarra.
Aston Villa's Vassell gave another vibrant performance, and he deserved his goal after 54 minutes, capping good work by Cole with another deflected finish.
And England added to their catalogue of scrappy goals with 13 minutes left, when Fowler's cross flew off Ayala's back with Teddy Sheringham in close attendance.
England cruised home - and Eriksson was left with an intriguing World Cup selection dilemma.
England: Seaman, Gary Neville (Carragher 68),
Keown (Murphy 45), Southgate (Sheringham 68),
Bridge (Phil Neville 68), Butt (Sinclair 45),
Gerrard (Hargreaves 45), Scholes (Mills 45), Dyer (Fowler 45),
Owen (Joe Cole 45), Vassell (Lampard 68).
Subs Not Used: Martyn, James.
Paraguay: Tavarelli, Arce, Ayala,
Gamarra (Julio Cesar Caceres 81), Caniza, Gavilan (Sarabia 57),
Bonet (Morinigo 82), Struway, Paredes,
Cardozo (Richart Baez 60), Santa Cruz.
Subs Not Used: Villar, Carlos Sanabria, Enciso, Edgar Baez.
Referee: Cosimo Bolognino (Milan)