14 October 2020
Venezuela and Paraguay will be looking to kick-start their respective World Cup qualifying campaigns when they meet at the Estadio Metropolitano de Mérida.
The hosts have started their World Cup qualification journey with a whimper rather than a bang, suffering a dismal 3-0 away loss to Colombia. Venezuela had gone four games unbeaten (W3, D1) before losing to Colombia, with each win yielding a multiple-goal margin and seeing ‘La Vinotinto’ score over 1.5 first-half goals. Although it may look impressive at first, Jose Paseiro’s men have actually drawn a blank in five of their last nine outings and have also failed to get on the scoresheet in three of their previous five World Cup qualifiers as hosts. Furthermore, Venezuela have recorded just a single win from their last ten World Cup qualifying home fixtures (W1, D5, L4) and have lost three of their previous four World Cup qualifying H2Hs on home soil (D1, L3).
Meanwhile, the visitors played out a 2-2 home draw with Peru in their World Cup qualifying curtain-raiser, with all goals in that clash coming in the second half of play. It now means that 12 of their last 14 goals scored/conceded arrived after the half-time break. A lack of ruthlessness in front of goal has recently been an issue for Paraguay, as they’ve netted under 1.5 goals in eight of their last ten outings. But, ‘Los Guaraníes’ have, however, managed to compensate for a less productive attack by displaying some excellent defensive qualities that have caused eight of those ten games also feature under 2.5 goals in total. ‘La Albirroja’ can’t hope for goals here either, as they’ve scored one or less in all of their last four World Cup qualifying H2Hs (W1, D1, L2).
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