Caceres could return for Paraguay

02 July 2010 09:01

Paraguay could restore Victor Caceres to their starting line-up for their quarter-final clash against Spain on Saturday after he missed their match with Japan through suspension.

If Caceres does make the starting XI, Nestor Ortigoza is expected to be the player to make way, while Aureliano Torres may feature after overcoming a minor calf strain.

Spain's Javier Martinez injured his anke in training and is a doubt, however, coach Vicente del Bosque could name the same line-up for the third consecutive game after backing the out of sorts Fernando Torres.

Iberian midfielder Cesc Fabregas has no doubt Torres will soon be over his goal drought and is expecting the striker to play a key role against Paraguay.

The Liverpool forward has endured a poor campaign so far, failing to hit the back of the net for the European champions in their opening four games. It came after an injury-hit domestic season for his English club, which him saw head to South Africa in the wake of a knee problem.

He has so far failed to live up to expectations and Fabregas said: "This boy is accustomed to this kind of situation. He's accustomed to all these situations because he's been under pressure ever since he was a little boy.

"He is very much at ease and I think he will have a possibility to showcase his talents to see whether he can take this team to the highest possible ranks."

Meanwhile, Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has leapt to the defence of his goal-shy attack ahead of the clash.

The trio of Manchester City's Roque Santa Cruz and Borussia Dortmund's Lucas Barrios and Nelson Valdez have all failed to find the net, however, Martino believes the negative approach of Paraguay's opponents has not helped their cause.

He said: "One must not be too hard on our strikers. If they aren't scoring well, maybe it's because the balls aren't arriving fast enough to them. To score goals, you need to receive the ball in advantageous positions. I wouldn't like to be unfair to the strikers."

Source: PA