Trinidad still dreaming of knockout phase
Trinidad & Tobago have won plaudits for battling performances against England and Sweden at their first World Cup but the Soca Warriors must now turn acclaim into points to stay in the tournament.
The Caribbean islanders, who drew 0-0 with Sweden and gave England a fright before losing 2-0, still have a mathematical chance of making the second round if they beat pointless Paraguay in their last Group B game today.
If Trinidad beat Paraguay in Kaiserslautern and Sweden lose to England in Cologne, second place will be decided on goal difference between the islanders and the Scandinavians.
Dwight Yorke remains optimistic.
"I am sure they (England) will do that and beat Sweden for us and we have to get the job done versus Paraguay," he said.
"We probably will ask them to do us a favour now. The most important thing is that we gave ourselves a chance and people didn't think we can do that and here we are still biting in there."
Coach Leo Beenhakker has received good news on the injury front with goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, who missed the first two games through injury, available again while defender Avery John is back from suspension after his sending off against Sweden.
Defender Cyd Gray misses out, though, after picking up a leg injury against England.
Paraguay have nothing to play for but pride after successive 1-0 defeats when, for all their technical astuteness, they failed to translate their possession into goals.
An underwhelming attack has been firing blanks.
Coach Anibal Ruiz gambled on the fitness of Roque Santa Cruz but the Bayern Munich striker has struggled to impose himself after an injury-hit season.
With Jose Cardozo pulling out of the squad through injury days before the finals, only Nelson Haedo Valdez, signed by Werder Bremen in 2001 from amateur club Atletico Tembetary without having played a professional game, has looked a threat.
Ruiz, whose deal with Paraguay ends after the World Cup, has brushed aside questions over his future and has said he will put out his strongest side against Trinidad.
Paraguay's captain and central defender Carlos Gamarra, 35, will make his 110th and final appearance after confirming his international retirement following Thursday's defeat by Sweden.
The South Americans have concerns over injured defenders Carlos Bonet and Jorge Nunez but the latter is expected to play.
Paraguay (4-4-2): 22-Bobadilla; 21-Caniza, 5-Caceres, 4-Gamarra, 3-Toledo; 19-Dos Santos, 10-Acuna, 13-Paredes, 16-Riveros; 9-Santa Cruz, 18-Valdez.
Trinidad & Tobago (4-4-2): 1-Hislop; 6- Lawrence, 5-Sancho, 11-Edwards, 3-A. John; 9-Whitley, 7-Birchall, 18-Theobald, 15-Jones; 14-S. John, 19-Yorke.
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy).