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Copa America

  • 3 July 2011
  • • 22:30
  • • Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López, Ciudad de Santa Fe, Provincia de Santa Fe
  • Referee: S. Pezzotta

Paraguay - Ecuador Preview: Roque Santa Cruz hoping to equal scoring record for La Albirroja

Paraguay - Ecuador Preview: Roque Santa Cruz hoping to equal scoring record for La Albirroja

Both sides will be looking to pick up a vital three points at the beginning of this summer's tournament Copa America as they attempt to make a perfect start in Group B

Paraguay: Villar; Piris, Da Silva, Alcaraz, Torres; Barreto, Caceres, Riveros; Santa Cruz, Barrios, Haedo Valdez

The Paraguayans are likely to favour a 4-3-3 formation during the tournament and look set to lead with Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios and Nelson Haedo Valdez upfront versus Ecuador. Cerro Porteno defender Ivan Piris could be set to make his international debut at right-back.

Ecuador: Banguera; Reasco, G.Caicedo, Checa, Ayovi; Valencia, Mendez, Castillo, Arroyo; F.Caicedo, Benitez

Ecuador will be glad to have first-choice striking partnership Christian Benitez and Felipe Caicedo available and will be hoping that Manchester United's Antonio Valencia can provide service for the forwards. Experienced midfielder Edison Menez will be making his 95th international appearance.

  • Paraguay have won the Copa America on two occasions, winning the tournament in 1953 and 1979.
  • Star striker Lucas Barrios was born in Argentina but has represented Paraguay since 2010 due to his mother being from the nation.
  • Head coach Gerado Martino will also be returning to his home nation for this summer's Copa America, with the 48-year-old making one appearance for the Argentine national side during his playing days.
  • Paraguay crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the 2007 Copa America, suffering a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Mexico.
  • Roque Santa Cruz is one goal shy of equalling Paraguay's goalscoring record, currently held by Jose Cardozo who netted 25 times during his 15-year international career.
  • Ecuador are one of three nations who have never won the Copa America (along with Chile and Venezuela).
  • The nation's best showing in the competition came on home soil back in 1959 and 1993 where they finished fourth on both occasions.
  • When the side's last met in World Cup qualification in 2009, neither team could be separated with the teams playing out a 1-1 draw.
  • Captain Walter Ayovi will be making his 60th international appearance for Ecuador against Paraguay on Sunday.
  • Ecuador have qualified for two World Cups in 2002 and 2006, qualifying for the round of 16 in the latter, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to England.

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