Paraguay v Spain preview
Paraguay battle Spain on Saturday evening for a place in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup.
Last Updated: 02/07/10 6:12pm
Paraguay battle Spain on Saturday evening for a place in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Spain are looking to secure just their second ever spot in the last four at a World Cup while this summer's finals are Paraguay's best ever.
In 1950 Spain reached the semi-finals when just 13 teams played in Brazil and the four group winners advanced to a round-robin pool to decide the honours.
Spain disposed of their under-achievers tag two years ago after winning the European Championship and will start as favourites against the South Americans.
Paraguay have been rock-solid at the back having conceded just once in the competition, although they have struggled at the other end with just three goals from their four matches.
The teams will battle it out to win the right to play either Germany or Argentina on 7th July.
Forward Fernando Llorente could be drafted in up front after impressing off the bench in Tuesday's 1-0 second-round success over Portugal on Tuesday.
However, head coach Vicente Del Bosque is expected to keep the same starting line-up and had confirmed Liverpool's Fernando Torres will start alongside Barcelona's new signing David Villa.
Villa, who scored Spain's winner against Portugal, is the tournament's joint-leading scorer with four goals so far this summer in South Africa.
Reserve defender Raul Albiol is almost certain to be unavailable due to an ankle injury, while midfielder Javi Martinez trained normally on Friday after hurting his right ankle a day earlier.
Paraguay arrive at the quarter-final stage on the back of three straight shut-outs, and a perfect five-for-five record in the penalty shoot-out against Japan when the teams' second-round game was goalless after extra-time.
Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino is still looking for a first goal from his forward line in South Africa.
The pressure is firmly on Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios and Nelson Valdez, none of whom have scored yet, to deliver the goods.
Captain Justo Villar will retain his place in goal, while the defence may comprise Carlos Bonet, Antolin Alcaraz, Paulo Da Silva and Claudio Morel Rodriguez.