Our football match prediction:
Following a surprising victory over Argentina, Paraguay suffered a dip in form. La Albirroja head into Friday’s football game against Ecuador after back-to-back defeats to the likes of Peru and Bolivia and this has to go down as a must-win game for the hosts. The Paraguayans are five points behind top four in the South America World Cup qualifying group and they need to return to get back on course soon if they are to keep their hopes of booking their place at the showpiece tournament in Russia. Ecuador, on the other hand, outplayed Venezuela at home in their last qualifier and that certainly helped them regain a much-needed confidence. Enner Valencia scored for Everton in a 4-0 win over Hull City at the weekend and he will be the man to watch in the away team. Anyhow, seeing that La Tricolor are not regarded as good travelers, we predict that the two teams will share the spoils in Asunsion.
Highlighted Player (Hernan Perez):
Hernan Perez is a 27-year-old Paraguayan winger who plays for Spanish club RCD Espanyol in Spanish La Liga. Perez was a late bloomer having built up his career for two different youth clubs before finding his feet with Tacuary. He made his top division debut in 2007 with them and was subsequently signed by fellow league side Club Libertad. But a serious right knee injury limited his game time at Libertad where he rarely appeared for the capital club. Perez’s redemption came at Spanish club Villarreal in 2009 where he quickly established himself in the main squad. Last year, he joined Espanyol and started showing glimpses of his skills. Perez was one of the best players for Paraguayan under-20 team at the 2009 South American Championship helping them finish in second place. His full senior debut came in the next year when he was selected to the 2011 Copa America. So far, Perez has won 26 caps.
Highlighted Team (Ecuador):
Ecuador had endured difficult times in footballing terms having been considered to be one of the more struggling football nations in South America, but the Tri have managed to transform themselves into a team that can never be taken lightly at the international scene. Ecuador has taken part in three of the 22 World Cups with 12 position they achieved in 2006 in Germany being their best result so far. La Tricolor head into Copa America Centenario tied at the top of CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying table and their chances of making it through from group B have been increased with good results and alike performances. Ivan Hurtado played for El Tri since 1992 to 2014 and former centre-back remains the most capped international with 168 games to his name. Ecuador captain Walter Ayovi is the active player with most games in the national team, while Felipe Caicedo with 19 goals is the top scorer of Gustavo Quinteros’ side.