Netherlands vs Paraguay: South American challenge
NETHERLANDS vs PARAGUAY, Heerenveen 18/11/09
UFWC champions the Netherlands, some say Holland, will defend their title against South American opposition on Wednesday, with Paraguay standing between the Dutch and a full year of UFWC supremacy.
The Netherlands will have been champions for 364 days when they take on Paraguay, having taken the title from Sweden on 19 November 2008.
And Paraguay will be the first South American side to challenge for the UFWC in three years, since Uruguay lost the title in November 2006.
Paraguay have won seven UFWC title matches, the last of which was a 3-0 victory over Chile back in November 1979 – thirty years ago this month.
Paraguay are ranked 22nd in the UFWC all-time rankings, compared to Holland’s 5th placing, and were beaten 2-0 by Qatar at the weekend.
However, the South Americans qualified impressively for World Cup 2010, beating Brazil and Argentina along the way.
Paraguay will be captained by Sunderland defender Paulo De Silva, and will boast an attack led by Roque Santa Cruz of Manchester City.
The Netherlands will be without Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, who suffered torn ligaments in the early stages of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Italy.
This match will mark an end to UFWC competition for 2009. If the Netherlands can retain their title, they have a friendly match pencilled in for March in which they would defend the title against the USA.
Who will take the UFWC title into 2010? Make your prediction below, and read a match report here after the game.