MX23RW : Thursday, July 18 22:55:23| >> :600:1166320:1166320:
[monks data]
Panama national football team
Friendlies 1
Jun 16, 2024 at 11.30pm UK
Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez
Paraguay national football team

0 - 1

FT(HT: 0-1)
Velazquez (25')
Gimenez (61')

Preview: Panama vs. Paraguay - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's friendly clash between Panama and Paraguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both playing their final friendly before the Copa America begins, Panama and Paraguay meet at Estadio Rommel Fernandez on Sunday.

While the Paraguayans are yet to score after two June fixtures, their hosts have already won a couple of World Cup qualifiers this month - albeit against modest opponents.

Match preview

Panama head coach Thomas Christiansen looks on on March 22, 2024© Reuters

After kicking off their quest for a place at the 2026 World Cup by beating Guyana 2-0, Panama then took care of business against Monterserrat last time out, making it maximum points from their opening Group D fixtures.

The squad managed by former Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen must negotiate the second phase of CONCACAF qualifying in order to reach the decisive third round, and they are certainly on the right track to do so.

Mexico, the United States and Canada are already assured of a spot at the global finals as co-hosts, so just a second World Cup appearance is a distinct possibility for the Panamanians.

Earlier this year, Los Canaleros secured a fourth-place finish in the CONCACAF Nations League, narrowly losing the bronze medal match to Jamaica, and they are now aiming to cause a stir at the upcoming Copa America.

Drawn in a group alongside Bolivia, Uruguay and hosts USA, few expect Panama to progress, but they have won eight of 11 games since losing the Gold Cup final to Mexico last year and are not to be underestimated.

Miguel Almiron dribbles the ball for Paraguay during a 2023 World Cup qualifier© Reuters

By contrast with their hosts, Paraguay have won only one of their first six matches in CONMEBOL's marathon qualifying contest, and they remain in danger of missing out despite South America being allocated six automatic places.

La Albirroja's sole win so far came at home to rank outsiders Bolivia 1-0, yet they remain just two points behind sixth-placed Brazil and there is plenty of football still to be played.

Following last week's goalless draw with Peru and Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Chile - both friendlies - Daniel Garnero's men are winless in eight away games across all competitions, only scoring in one.

Therefore, a lack of firepower could be a major issue heading into this summer's Copa America campaign, which Paraguay kick off with a tough test against Colombia.

Group D also contains Brazil and Costa Rica, so expectations are understandably low - and failing to beat Panama would further dent confidence in the camp.

Panama form (all competitions):

Paraguay friendly form:

Paraguay form (all competitions):

Team News

Adalberto Carrasquilla with Panama at 2023 Gold Cup© Reuters

First-choice defender Andres Andrade has been ruled out for the rest of this year, having recently suffered an ACL injury in an unofficial match against Galicia's representative team, but other Panama stalwarts are still on duty this month.

Marseille right-back Michael Murillo and veteran captain Anibal Godoy are expected to start on Sunday, while 84-cap forward Yoel Barcenas should feature in the final third.

Famalicao winger Jose Luis Rodriguez scored in both recent World Cup qualifiers so can expect to keep his place on the right flank; Cecilio Waterman and Eduardo Guerrero will battle it out to start up front.

Meanwhile, Paraguay are captained by Palmeiras defender Gustavo Gomez, with Premier League players Miguel Almiron and Julio Enciso available to head coach Daniel Garnero in attack.

Enciso, though, joins several forwards in waiting for a first international goal, Alex Arce and Adam Bareiro were both tried last week but failed to produce, so leading active scorer Derlis Gonzalez may be brought back into the starting XI.

Panama possible starting lineup:
Mejia; Murillo, Farina, Cordoba, Davis; Godoy; Rodriguez, Carrasquilla, Martinez, Barcenas; Guerrero

Paraguay possible starting lineup:
Coronel; Velazquez, Gomez, Balbuena, Espinoza; Cubas, Villasanti; Almiron, Enciso, Sosa; Gonzalez

SM words green background

We say: Panama 1-1 Paraguay

Although Panama are in far better form than their visitors, Paraguay can end their barren run in front of goal and hold out for a low-scoring draw.

Both squads will head off for the USA in hope rather than expectation, and their respective failings may be exposed on Sunday evening.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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