Preview: Paraguay vs. Bolivia - Team news, lineups

Paraguay play host to Bolivia in their next CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier on Monday evening looking to extend their unbeaten start to four matches.

Meanwhile, Bolivia head into their fixture at Estadio Defensores del Chaco on the back of three successive defeats.

Having failed to qualify for the last two World Cups, there is extra motivation in this Paraguay squad as they bid to return to the greatest stage of international football.

Collecting five points from their opening three matches has left Los Guaranies in fifth position during the early stages, while they are one of only three teams to remain undefeated in the table.

Nevertheless, they will take most encouragement from their 1-1 draw with Argentina on Friday, holding on for a share of the spoils after conceding an equaliser just before the break.

Many would have fancied Lionel Messi and co to seal victory during the closing 45 minutes, but Eduardo Berizzo watched his side battle hard for their point in Buenos Aires.

Paraguay have now avoided defeat in their last half a dozen matches in all competitions, and not many people will back against them extending that streak against an out-of-form Bolivia side.

Although they ran Argentina close last month, La Verde have lost 11 of their most recent 12 matches in all competitions, a run which started in March 2019.

They have endured a tough start to this campaign having been given encounters against the current top three, but their only success in over one-and-a-half years came against Haiti.

Alvaro Pena will be optimistic that his squad are now trending in the right direction after only losing by one-goal margins to Argentina and Ecuador, the latter only prevailing courtesy of an 88th-minute winner.

However, ahead of the five-month break, Bolivia are under pressure to get off the mark ahead of meeting nearest rivals Peru in their next outing.

Paraguay World Cup Qualifying form: DWD
Paraguay form (all competitions): DWDDWD

Bolivia World Cup Qualifying form: LLL
Bolivia form (all competitions): LLWLLL

Team News

Berizzo is unlikely to move away from the team which performed so well against Argentina.

Newcastle United playmaker Miguel Almiron will line up in attack, with West Ham United's Fabian Balbuena taking his place in the centre of defence.

Antonio Sanabria and Hernan Perez are alternatives in the final third if Berizzo decides to freshen up his team.

Ronny Montero could be brought into the Bolivia defence as a replacement for Gabriel Valverde.

With veterans Marcelo Martins and Juan Carlos Arce completing 90 minutes against Ecuador, Pena may opt to rest one of the attackers.

Gilbert Alvarez is pushing for a start after his appearance from the substitutes' bench in the same game.

Paraguay possible starting lineup:
Silva; Rojas, Balbuena, Gomez, Alonso; Villasanti, Cardozo Lucena, Gimenez; Romero, Lezcano, Almiron

Bolivia possible starting lineup:
Lampe; Ribera, Jusino, Montero, Flores; Saavedra, Justiniano; Arce, Abrego, Fernandez; Martins

Source: SportsMole / Darren Plant


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