Copa America: Paraguay vs Venezuela preview

July 19, 2011
By: Frank Beresford

Just seven days after their thrilling 3:3 draw, Paraguay and Venezuela will meet again at Copa America, this time in the semi-final of the competition.

Gerardo Martino’s side somehow managed to make it to the quarter-finals, despite recording three straight draws in the group stage, but everybody believed that La Albirroja would soon finish their campaign after they were paired with Brazil in the quarter-finals.

As it was expected, Brazil completely dominated the game and created a host of clear-cut chances, but Paraguay managed to hold on for 120 minutes thanks to impressive Justo Villar.

La Albirroja won the penalty shoot out to book their place in the semi-finals and they are now 3.50 (5/2) with Stan James to beat Uruguay, Peru and Venezuela to the coveted title.

Coach Gerardo Martino faces an anxious wait over injured duo Roque Santa Cruz and Aureliano Torres, while he will have to make do without suspended Antonio Alcaraz.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Villar – Piris, Veron, Da Silva, Torres – Vera, Riveros, Caceres, Estigarribia – Barrios, Valdez.

Alongside Peru, Venezuela are clearly the surprise package of 2011 Copa America as nobody expected them to qualify from their group let alone make it to the last 4.

Talented coach Cesar Farias have worked wonders with very talented but inexperienced side that never seem to give up.

The 3:3 draw against Paraguay earned by scoring two goals in injury time hinted that la Vinotinto were determined to make their presence known in Argentina, whereas the impressive win over Chile in the quarter-finals saw them achieve a historic success.

Coach Farias is adamant that his team are in it to win it, even if Venezuela are 8.50 (15/2) with Victor Chandler to win Copa America.

Hamburg midfielder Tomas Rincon is set to miss the game after picking up a red card in the dying moments of the Chile game and that will be a big blow for la Vinotinto.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Vega – Rosales, Vizcarrondo, Perozo, Cichero – Gonzalez, Lucena, Seijas, Arango – Maldonado, Fedor.

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