Martino positive over squad fitness
© AFP

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino expects to have all 23 members of his squad fit and available for their World Cup opener against Italy next Monday. The South Americans have been nursing a number of players in the build-up to the Group F curtain-raiser in Cape Town, but Martino is upbeat over their fitness.

"We are actually in pretty good shape," he said. "Last week we had some players with various problems - Oscar Cardozo, Nelson Haedo, Edgar Benitez, Edgar Barreto and Rodolfo Gamarra have been recovering.

Overall, I would say we have great prospects for that first game. We can count on any of the 23 players.
Gerado Martino, Paraguay coach

"Lucas Barrios has virtually overcome the slight injury he picked up in the game against Greece (a 2-0 friendly win in Switzerland last Wednesday, in which Barrios scored the second goal).

"Roque Santa Cruz has had special care after playing almost four friendly matches. Overall, I would say we have great prospects for that first game. We can count on any of the 23 players."