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Martino may name unchanged line-up
Published : 23 Jun 2010 19:20:05
Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino could name the same XI that started against Slovakia should Antonlin Alcaraz overcome a slight ankle problem when his team face New Zealand on Thursday.
The defender will have a late fitness test to assess the injury, while midfielder Jonathan Santana is available after recovering from a thigh strain.
Meanwhile, New Zealand could welcome back Glen Moss to the starting line-up after he has completed a four match suspension.
Midfielder Andy Barron believes the best is yet to come from New Zealand at the World Cup as the squad know they can reach the second round for the first time with victory against Paraguay and Barron is confident his team-mates can produce more heroics following their 1-1 draw with Italy.
He said: "This has been great for New Zealand sport in general. Every time we get on the park we are starting to create history.
"It is great to be a part of this history-making squad and to go into the last game knowing if we get a win we go through to the next round is beyond everyone's belief. Paraguay had a good win the other day, so it will be tough.
Paraguay midfielder Carlos Bonet insists his side are not going to underestimate the threat posed by New Zealand in their final group match or think about what opponent they might get in the last 16 should they overcome the All Whites.
Having played, on paper, what looked to be their two toughest fixtures, Paraguay are now firm favourites to seal a place in the knockout stages when they face rank outsiders New Zealand in Polokwane.
However, Bonet is taking nothing for granted and said: "We're happy (to be top) but we still haven't taken the most important step, which is to get through the first phase, but that's what we're looking for."
"There are still no calculations being made (about possible opponents in the next round). We need to play the game first, we have 90 minutes left in front of us. The plan is to finish first of course, we have the chance and we need to try and make sure we don't miss out on a great opportunity to wrap up the group. Afterwards we'll see who we get."