Spain Look to Avoid Another Major Upset
Venue Johannesburg, Ellis ParkDate Saturday July 3rdKick-Off 19:30Spain will face-off with surprise quarter-finalists Paraguay on Saturday night, with the weight of expectation Tony Gwynn Jersey
hanging over them. All, except maybe the most avid Paraguayan football fan will strongly favour the Spanish to progre s from this match. The teams took very different routes to reach this stage, while Spain battled to a narrow, but deserving victory over Portugal, Paraguay endured 120 minutes of stalemate with Japan, eventually prevailing 5-3 on penalties.Paraguay have made history in reaching the quarter finals of a World Cup for the first time, but they will need an extra special performance to overcome the gifted Spanish side and improve on that record.Spain have slowly showed signs of improvement since their shock opening defeat to Switzerland, with glimpses of their superb brand of pa sing football evident Luis Torrens Jersey
against Portugal. Leading the line fantastically for them is the recent Barcelona signing, David Villa. He has fired 4 goals thus far and sits just 2 goals behind the all-time leading Spanish goalscorer, Franmil Reyes Jersey
Raul.Whereas, quite the opposite can be said of Villas strike partner, Fernando Torres who has come under strong criticism for his performances in the tournament to date, with the Liverpool striker looking jaded and slightly short of match sharpne s, following his lengthy injury lay-off. Despite this, bo s Vicente Del Bosque has quashed calls for Torres to be dropped and has insisted he will remain a vital component of his side.It is expected that Del Bosque will stick with the same side for the third game running, utilising Villa and Iniesta from the left and right of central forward Torres once more. Xabi Alonso is the only Spanish player with a potential suspension hanging over his head if he were to receive a booking on Saturday night.Xavi will look to pull the strings in midfield once moreParaguayan coach Gerardo Martino may welcome back Victor Caceres to his starting line-up after he mi sed the victory over Japan through suspension, with Nestor Ortigoza Anderson Espinoza Jersey
the likely makeweight. They have three players walking a disciplinary tightrope, Enrique Vera, Cristian Riveros and Roque Santa Cruz would all mi s the semi-final if cautioned.Paraguay have been resolute in defence thus far, with Wigan new boy Antolin Alcaraz and Sunderlands Paulo de Silva in particular impre sing. They will attempt to pre s their opponents throughout, preventing the Franchy Cordero Jersey
talented Spanish midfield the space they yearn to weave their magic. Spain will be wary of the underdogs tag their opponents will hold and will hope to move up another gear as the busine s end of the tournament arrives.