Sports Mole previews Friday’s friendly between Paraguay and United Arab Emirates, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Paraguay and United Arab Emirates meet on Friday for an international match in Austria.
Both nations failed to reach the upcoming World Cup, with Paraguay finishing ninth in the South American qualifying group and losing their opponents to Australia in a knockout match.
Paraguay start a string of international friendlies after a difficult spell after falling far short of qualifying for the World Cup in the South American group.
In their 18 qualifiers, Los Guaranies recorded just three wins and 16 points, the last of those wins coming in the penultimate round of matches in a 3-1 win over Ecuador before a 2-0 defeat by Peru to end the final day March.
After this disappointment Guillermo Barros SchelottoIn June, the protégés returned to action on a trip to Asia, suffering a 4-0 defeat by Japan and a remarkable 2-2 draw with South Korea.
Their last game came in early September and Los Guaranies returned to winning ways in a friendly against Mexico Derlis Gonzales scored the only goal in Atlanta.
Aiming to regain further confidence with no contest on the horizon, Schelotto’s men will claim back-to-back victories for the first time since 2013 before taking on Morocco next week.
Their opponents also have no competitive action on the horizon and will be trying to recover from their elimination from Worlds qualifiers in June.
The United Arab Emirates progressed through the second round of Asian qualifiers to lead their first group with six wins from eight games before facing a tougher test in their third round alongside Iran and South Korea.
While a third-place finish didn’t automatically grant progression to the tournament in Qatar alongside the top two, it did ensure a tie against Australia to reach an inter-confederation playoff, but they would still narrowly fail in that encounter Caio Canedo Draw them on the hour mark, as Ajdin Hrustic sealed a 2-1 victory for the Socceroos in the final 10 minutes.
Now aiming to recover and get back into positive shape, Rodolfo ArruabarrenaThe team of will be hoping to mark their trip to Europe on Friday with a win over their South American counterparts.
Paraguay International Friendlies Form:
Paraguay form (all competitions):
Form of United Arab Emirates International Friendlies:
United Arab Emirates form (all competitions):
Paraguay have called up a strong squad for this friendly round, albeit a key attacker Angel Romero is a notable absence.
Gustave Gomez should continue to captain the side with Corinthians at centre-back Fabian Balbuena placed himself in the middle of the defense.
Newcastle United attacker Miguel Almiron remains a major threat going forward after scoring a brace in his last appearance against South Korea and he could play behind frontman Derlis Gonzalez again.
The UAE line is once again led by Starman Ali Mabchoutwho leads his country’s all-time top scorer list with 80 goals in 107 international matches.
Caio Canedo is another threat from the wings and will be looking to keep contributing goals after leveling against Australia in their later play-off defeat last time out.
Next to Mabkhout, defender Walid Abbas has the most experience in the squad with over 100 caps and will again play at left-back.
Paraguay possible starting line-up:
Silva; Piris, Gomez, Balbuena, Arzamendia; Ortiz, Cuba; Villasanti, Almiron, Medina; gonzales
United Arab Emirates possible starting line-up:
Eisa; Ibrahim, Al Attas, Al Hammadi, Abbas; Hamad, Salmeen; Canedo, Ramadan, Al Maazmi; Mabkhout
We say: Paraguay – United Arab Emirates 2:1
We expect a close clash but put the Paraguay side just above their opponents and lean close to them for the score in a game that could well be separated by a single goal.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.
Our expert Tipster partners at Sporita.com predict over 1.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their tried and true football tips.About 1.5: data