Venezuela-Paraguay Preview: Hosts need a miracle to qualify for World Cup

Cesar Farias' men were the surprise package of the Conmebol section for a while but their form has dropped and them reaching Brazil will be a shock
Venezuela head into their final World Cup qualifying match with Paraguay needing a huge goal-difference swing to save their campaign.

Cesar Farias' side lie sixth in the South American section, three points adrift of Uruguay and Ecuador who both have a game in hand.

It means Venezuela's only chance of reaching Brazil in 2014 is to thrash Paraguay on their home ground in San Cristobal and hope either Uruguay or Ecuador lose both their games.

Even if that scenario occurs Venezuela would have to overcome a six-goal swing with Uruguay, while the gap to Ecuador is 10.

A 3-2 victory over Peru in September ensured Venezuela kept alive their faint hopes of securing fifth place and an intercontinental play-off with Jordan.

For Paraguay, the fixture offers little more than an opportunity to heave themselves off the foot of the table.

Victor Genes' charges have endured a disappointing campaign yielding just three victories and are currently behind fellow strugglers Bolivia on goal difference.

The 52-year-old Genes can be exonerated of blame for the most part, as he only took the reins in July after Paraguay parted company with former incumbent Gerardo Pelusso.

Paraguay's last two qualifiers in September produced Jekyll and Hyde performances, a 4-0 home success over Bolivia swiftly followed by a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Argentina.

Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz will be expected to provide his country's chief attacking threat and has three goals in qualifying thus far.