Our football match prediction:
Colombia will be looking to move one step closer to securing automatic qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals with a win over Paraguay at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez. Los Cafeteros did well to share the spoils with Brazil in their last qualifying match, but they are only two points clear of fifth-placed Argentina ahead of Friday’s football game against Paraguay. The Colombians are likely to leave their hearts on the field and despite the fact that La Albirroja are still in the race for a place in the play-offs, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts. Paraguay have been having their ups and downs of late and given that Colombia are a real force to be reckoned with at home, away win should not be considered. Monaco attacker Radamel Falcao, who has been scoring goals for fun this season, is likely to lead the line for the hosts.
Highlighted Player (Falcao):
Radamel Falcao, nicknamed the “Colombian Tiger”, is considered one of the best players in the history of Colombian football. The 177-cm-tall attacker is well known for his brilliant finishing and his header technique gives him an advantage in aerial battles with opposition defenders. Falcao was born in Santa Marta, Colombia on 10 February, 1986 and he started his senior career at Lanceros Boyaca. He played for Argentine giants River Plate between 2005 and 2009 and in 2009 he joined Porto. After scoring 41 goals in 51 league appearances for the Dragons, Falcao signed for Atletico Madrid on 18 August 2011 for a fee of €40 million. The Colombian attacker helped los Rojiblancos win Europa League trophy in 2012, scoring 12 goals in the process. He played for Monaco in the 2013/2014 Ligue 1 campaign and in 2014 he signed a loan deal with Manchester United. He scored just 4 goals in 26 league appearances for the Red Devils and was later loaned to Chelsea before returning to Stade Louis II.
Highlighted Team (Paraguay):
Los Guaranies are the part of CONMEBOL confederation vying for glory at the international scene since 1919 and their debut loss to Argentina 5-1. Paraguay are regular participants at the Copa America winning the tournament on two occasions thus far, most recently in 1979. They came close to glory in recent editions of the tournament as they fell short in the final of 2011 to Uruguay, while they finished fourth in 2015. The most successful period of the Paraguay national team came under Argentine coach Gerardo Martino, who took Paraguay to the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. Following the 2010 success, Paraguay failed to qualify for their fourth successive FIFA World Cup finals as they have also missed out on the third consecutive global championship held inside their own continent. Toluca FC centre back Paulo da Silva is the most capped player of the Paraguay national team, while former Bayern Munich and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz is the team’s top scorer with 32 goals to his name.