Uruguay will bid to get its World Cup qualification bid back on track when it takes on Paraguay in Asunción on Thursday. Can its star strikers deliver? Keep reading for a full expert betting preview and winning picks.
Paraguay vs. Uruguay
Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 06:00 PM EST at General Pablo Rojas
A run of four straight defeats has left Uruguay’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup in serious jeopardy. La Celeste has slumped down to seventh in the South American qualifying table, and it needs to finish in the top four to secure a place at the tournament. The team that finishes fifth will go into an intercontinental playoff.
However, the table is extremely congested, so Uruguay is just one point behind Colombia and Peru, which are fourth and fifth respectively. It is level on points with sixth-placed Chile, and it is just one point clear of eighth-placed Bolivia. Paraguay is ninth, three points behind Uruguay.
The Uruguayans, therefore, retain a good chance of qualifying, but they need to live up to their potential. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted La Celeste’s campaign thus far, preventing them from calling up some of their best players from major European clubs, but manager Diego Alonso now has a very strong chance at his disposal for this crucial game.
Dynamic Duo Back for La Celeste
The headline news is that Atlético Madrid striker Luis Suarez and Man Utd forward Edinson Cavani are both in the squad. They have a combined 118 goals for their country, so they will be vital to Uruguay’s chances of success. Benfica’s promising young striker Darwin Nuñez is another option if either of them should suffer an injury.
In the midfield, Alonso will be able to call on Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus, and Matías Vecino of Inter Milan.
Captain Diego Godín is fit to start in defense alongside Atlético Madrid’s José Giménez. They played together for several years at Atlético, and they should form a strong partnership in this game, with Martín Cáceres and Sebastián Coates available to provide more steel.
Uruguay Dominates Head-to-Heads
Uruguay should have enough quality to get the better of Paraguay in this game. It dominates the head-to-heads.
La Celeste has not lost to Paraguay since 2007. Since then, the teams have met nine times, with five wins for Uruguay and four draws.
They played twice last year – a 1-0 win for Uruguay and a 0-0 draw. Uruguay’s defense should hold firm against Paraguay in this game, and Suarez and Cavani should be able to lead it to victory.
Paraguay Endures Poor Run of Form
Paraguay has gone five games without a win. It has not scored a single goal in that time. The Paraguayans now have just nine goals in 14 World Cup qualifiers thus far.
They have a strong defensive record, but a lack of firepower has proved to be their undoing. They battled to a 0-0 draw with Colombia last time out, and they are just four points off a top-four spot, but their chances of qualifying for the World Cup look slim.
The squad is not bursting with the sort of elite talent that Uruguay can call upon. Miguel Almirón and Antonio Sanabria are talented players, but they lack an out-and-out predator in the attack.
World Cup Qualifying Picks
Soccer Pick: Uruguay draw no bet (-140) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Soccer Pick: Uruguay to win (+155) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Soccer Pick: Both teams to score – no (-135) at DraftKings Sportsbook