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Jan 27, 2022 at 11pm UK
Paraguay
0 - 1
Uruguay

Rojas (59'), Gomez (62'), Alonso (86')
Gomez (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Suarez (50')
Bentancur (9'), Pellistri (19'), Araujo (22'), Vecino (43')

Preview: Paraguay vs. Uruguay - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - South America clash between Paraguay and Uruguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Paraguay will welcome Uruguay to the Estadio General Pablo Rojas in Asuncion for their World Cup 2022 CONMEBOL qualifier on Thursday.

Both nations have failed to win any of their last five qualifiers, form which has put their hopes of advancing to Qatar in doubt.


Match preview

Paraguay team huddle before the match on June 29, 2021© Reuters

After suffering three successive defeats without scoring, Paraguay managed to claim a point when they played out a goalless draw away against Colombia in November last year.

Failing to score for the fifth successive qualifier will be a concern to Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who has only witnessed a total of nine goals scored by his side in their 14 matches, the joint fewest along with basement nation Venezuela.

La Albirroja have slipped down to ninth place in the CONMEBOL standings, but they are only four points behind the top four, so hopes of reaching their first World Cup since 2010 are not over just yet.

Paraguay have struggled when facing Uruguay over the years, failing to win any of their last nine matches against them across all competitions, including a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in June last year.

With challenging encounters against group leaders Brazil and third-placed Ecuador to come, Thursday's fixture against an out-of-form Uruguay outfit could be their best chance of claiming a much-needed victory.

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez pictured on October 8, 2020© Reuters

Uruguay head into Thursday's contest having lost each of their last four matches, albeit two were against Argentina and one was against Brazil.

However, it was their 3-0 defeat to 10-man Bolivia in their most recent qualifier which will have been the most disappointing for head coach Oscar Tabarez, who saw his 16-year reign come to an end in December.

Former Inter Miami boss Diego Alonso has since taken charge and will be hoping to turn the nation's fortunes around and steer them to their fourth successive World Cup tournament.

Uruguay currently sit seventh in the CONMEBOL standings with 16 points from their 14 matches played, seven points and four places worse off than at this stage of their last qualification campaign.

However, with only one point separating them from fourth place, all hope is certainly not lost just yet, especially with favourable fixtures against Paraguay and Venezuela to come next.

Uruguay's impressive head-to-head record against Paraguay bodes well for Alonso ahead of Thursday's fixture, as they have won five and drawn four of their last nine encounters against them, including a slender 1-0 victory in their most recent meeting at the 2021 Copa America in June last year.

Paraguay World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Uruguay World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L


Team News

Uruguay's Edison Cavani celebrates scoring their second goal, June 24, 2021© Reuters

Paraguayan trio Omar Alderete, Andres Cubas and Kaku have not been selected in Schelotto's 29-man squad due to injury.

Defensive midfielder Cubas is suspended anyway, following his dismissal against Colombia, so Jorge Morel could be handed a start, joining Mathias Villasanti and Miguel Almiron in the middle of the pitch.

Antonio Sanabria is expected to lead the line and he could be supported in attack by wingers Matias Rojas and Braian Samudio.

As for Uruguay, they will be without veteran goalkeeper Fernando Muslera as he continues to recover from a cruciate ligament injury, so Martin Campana – the only capped goalkeeper in Alonso's squad – is likely to start between the sticks.

Nahitan Nandez (knock) and Lucas Torreira (COVID-19) are also unavailable but the visitors are able to welcome back Manchester United's Edinson Cavani, as well as Darwin Nunez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta, who were all ruled out of the last international break with injuries.

Cavani and Nunez will be in contention to start up front with talisman Luis Suarez, while De Arrascaeta may have to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench, with Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde and Matias Vecino all set to start in centre-midfield.

Paraguay possible starting lineup:
Silva; Escobar, Gomez, Balbuena, Alonso; Morel; M. Rojas, Villasanti, Almiron, Samudio; Sanabria

Uruguay possible starting lineup:
Campana; Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Vina; Vecino, Valverde, Bentancur; Nunez, Suarez, Cavani


SM words green background

We say: Paraguay 0-2 Uruguay

Both nations will be desperate to return to winning ways on Thursday and boost their chances of finishing in the top four.

Uruguay have an evident goal threat with Cavani, Suarez and Nunez all in contention to play, in stark contrast to Paraguay, who are struggling for form in front of goal. With that in mind, the visitors should have the edge in the final third to seal all three points.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Paraguay vs Uruguay

Paraguay
12.7%
Draw
13.6%
Uruguay
73.6%
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Luis Suarez in action for Uruguay on June 8, 2021
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