Estadio Defensores del Chaco by yonolatengo / Flickr
Paraguay v Argentina
10 September 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
Unofficial champions Argentina take a weakened squad into this World Cup qualifier against Paraguay. Lionel Messi has been named in the squad, having recovered from a hamstring injury to score a brilliant hat-trick for Barcelona against Valencia. But La Albiceleste will be without the suspended Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez.
Paraguay, coached by Víctor Genes, have named a largely South American-based squad. Goalkeeper and former captain Justo Villar has been left out. For goals, the squad relies heavily on Roque Santa Cruz, now at Malaga. However, strike partner José Ariel Núñez of Osasuna scored his first international goal in last month’s eye-catching 3-3 draw with Germany. Midfielder Wilson Pittoni and defender Miguel Samudio also scored against the Germans.
A win for Argentina could secure World Cup qualification, if other results go their way. Alejandro Sabella’s side are top of the CONMEBOL qualification table with 26 points after 13 matches. The top four sides will qualify automatically, with a fifth entering the play-offs. Despite sitting rock bottom of the qualification table, 18 points behind Argentina, Paraguay still have a mathematical chance of reaching the play-offs.
Remarkably, Argentina are looking to win their 56th UFWC title match. Only Scotland and England have won more. Paraguay have won seven UFWC title matches overall, but none in recent years. Their last win was in 1979.
As always, the involvement of the UFWC ensures this match is one of the biggest football tickets during a busy international week. Kick off in Asunción is 21:40 local time, which is 02:40 in the morning BST.
UPDATE: You can watch a free and legal live stream of the Paraguay vs Argentina UFWC title match via our friends at Bet365. You’ll need to create an account if you don’t already have one, but you don’t need to make a bet. If you do open an account and decide to make a deposit of £10 or more, you’ll be entitled to up to £200 in free bets. Kick off is 02:40 on Wednesday morning in the UK. Just click on the link below.
We’ll have a full match report right here on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, feel free to contact us via Twitter and Facebook, post your comments below, and let us know who you think will win this UFWC title match by voting in our poll.