FanZoner Hannah Cawsey hopes that Paraguay's youth will outdo the Italians experience at the Free State Stadium.
Last Updated: 14/06/10 3:13pm
I write this, slightly later than planned, as I watch South Africa take on Mexico. I'm trying my hardest not to be distracted by the awful sounds coming from the crowd of the horns that make you feel like you're living next door to a giant beehive.
Anyway, I suppose I should try and focus on Paraguay's first match, which unless you've been living in Scotland the past few months and are ignorant to the World Cup you will know is against Italy. I am allowed to make anti-Scotland remarks being half Scottish myself, it's a way of dealing with the half of my heart that is aching for their inability to qualify. (Sorry Scottish Nana).
The latest news from the Paraguay camp is that striker Oscar Cardoza is unlikely to feature in the line-up against Italy. The Benifica attacker picked up an ankle injury back in April, although he was expected to have recovered in time for Paraguay's opening game.
This news will no doubt come as a blow to Paraguay as Cardoza bagged an impressive 36 goals for Benifica in all competitions last season. Although all is not lost for the Paraguay attack with Roque Santa-Cruz training with the rest of the team this week, along with Nelso Haedo Valdez and Lucas Barrios - Paraguay's strike force is definitely one to be reckoned with.
I read that Carlos Bonet has warned his team-mates that they shouldn't underestimate the Italian side they face in their opening game on Monday. Bonet went on to say he thought that Paraguay were very similar to Italy, he said: "Paraguay are also characterised by strong football and in that we are similar to Italy."
Although the obvious differences are that I don't expect the Paraguayan side to be sponsored by Age Concern with room on the team coach for Zimmer Frames and a treatment room full of hip replacement hopefuls, like Italy's.
If I were going to put this in estate agents terms I would say that Italy's strength would be their experience and the fact that they already hold the World Cup title. However, like most of Paraguay I shall be hoping that their younger legs and sprightly strikers will be able to take advantage of an aging Italian side.
We're holding an England party for the first game in which we will be having American-style food, as this is a Cawsey family tradition. My friends Katie and Jon will be getting involved, both Grimsby Town fans so I'm hoping we can provide each other with emotional support. I may do the same for Paraguay on Monday and have some Italian foods like pizza and pasta... oh and wine of course!
I shall leave you with yet another Scotland related gag: There's a fine line between success and failure in this World Cup... and it's called Hadrian's Wall!
Come on Paraguay!