Football News

Colombia vs Paraguay predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

By Dean Smith

Published: 0:51, 22 June 2024

Colombia come into the Copa America as arguably the hottest national team in the world and will be expected to beat Paraguay in both nations’ Group D opener at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Los Cafeteros are riding an impressive 23-match unbeaten streak, which includes a strong start to their World Cup qualifying campaign and they recently delivered a statement performance in a 5-1 friendly win over a strong United States team.

Copa America quarter-finalists in the last two editions, Paraguay carry no expectations this time around as they try to find their feet – and scoring form – under new coach Daniel Garnero.

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Cafeteros have a shot at glory

It’s 23 years since Colombia’s lone Copa America title but Nestor Lorenzo’s squad have a chance of grabbing their share of glory this summer.

They are unbeaten in 20 games under the coach, who has formulated a successful way of playing against teams that sit in or like to press.

Colombia have more momentum than any of their rivals heading into the tournament after winning eight games in a row and will surely be eyeing up another win over Brazil in their final group contest.

Lorenzo’s side beat the five-time World Cup winners 2-1 in Barranquilla late last year with two goals from Luis Diaz, who appears ready to play a starring role in this tournament.

Paraguay are already in danger of sliding out of World Cup contention after taking only five points from their first six qualifiers and scoring just a single goal.

This tournament presents Garnero with a chance to build squad unity and find a successful formula to unlock the potential of young attacking players like Julio Enciso and Ramon Sosa.

He will also need to fix the glaring defensive issues that emerged in their recent 3-0 friendly defeat to Chile if Paraguay are not to suffer embarrassment against group rivals with the potential to hurt them like Colombia and Brazil.

Colombia vs Paraguay team news

Lorenzo has a full squad from which to choose from and will probably go with a similar line-up to the one that instigated Colombia’s 5-1 thrashing of the United States earlier this month.

Goalkeeper Camilo Vargas, centre-back Jhon Lucumí, midfielder Jefferson Lerma and attackers Luis Diaz, James Rodriguez and Rafael Santos Borre are the undisputed regular choices.

Paraguay finished its programme of preparation games with a victory against Panama with Garnero sparing four players that day who will surely start against Colombia.

Centre-back Omar Alderete, left-back Matías Espinoza and midfielders Miguel Almiron and Andres Cubas all trained fully in the days before this game and should start.

The team almost picks itself with Julio Enciso likely to start on the bench for reasons of balance while Gustavo Velasquez appears to have edged ahead of right-back rival Ivan Ramirez after scoring in the 1-0 win over Panama.

Colombia vs Paraguay predicted line-ups

Colombia (4-2-3-1): Vargas, Munoz, Lucumi, Sanchez, Mojica; Lerma, Uribe; Arias, James Rodriguez, Diaz; Santos Borre.

Paraguay (4-2-2): Coronel; Velazquez, Gomez, Alderete, Espinoza; Villasanti, Cubas, Peralta, Almiron; Sosa, Bareiro.