Paraguay high on confidence

"No team comes to the World Cup knowing exactly what they can do, you grow through the tournament," he said.

That is something Paraguay rarely have the luxury of experiencing having never got past the second round in their seven finals appearances, falling at the first hurdle four times.

This time, though, confidence is high after an impressive qualifying campaign in which they finished second and beat Brazil and Argentina along the way.

Despite losing their main striker in qualifying, Salvador Cabanas, after he was shot in the head in Mexico City, they have maintained that form in warm-ups, drawing with Ivory Coast, losing narrowly to Ireland and beating North Korea and Greece.

Roque Santa Cruz remains their key striker, despite barely getting a game in the Premier League with Manchester City, but there is serious concern over fellow forward Oscar Cardozo.

Image: Paraguay's Roque Santa Cruz (centre) trains with team-mates at a practice session