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World Cup Free Picks – Japan vs. Paraguay Line

Japan vs Paraguay World Cup 2010 Betting Picks + Odds

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Round of 16 Gambling Predictions

Matchup: Paraguay v Japan
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Time: 9:30 AM EST
Venue: Pretoria
TV: ESPN (In USA)

World Cup Fixture – Round of 16 Odds: Paraguay +120 / Japan +225 / Draw +220
BET ON Paraguay vs Japan HERE

The Blue Samurai will continue their most successful tournament on foreign soil as they kick off against an unbeaten Paraguay who looks to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.

Paraguay and Japan have officially faced each other six times in the past and Paraguay have had the better of Japan with a pair of wins, three draws and one loss, while outscoring the Japanese 7-4.

This is the second time that Japan has reached round two. In 2002 they lost to Turkey 1-0 in the World Cup they co-hosted with South Korea. This year also resulted in another first for the Samurai Blue, as they won their first ever World Cup finals game outside their own continent on Keisuke Honda’s stunning free kick goal against Cameroon in their opening match. They followed with a 1-0 loss to group winner Holland, before concluding the group phase with a convincing 3-1 win over Denmark to etch their second place finish.

Similarly, Paraguay has lost all three of their second round matches in World Cup history, being shut out on each occasion. But this year’s La Albirroja are in much better form and are unbeaten in four World Cup matches, including a win and two draws to finish atop Group F in this year’s campaign.

However, if Paraguay is to advance any further in the tournament, they will need a more productive offense from their top. This includes Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz, who will be hoping for his third start against Japan in Pretoria, having starred in two previous campaigns that ended prematurely.

Cruz is still a key man in the Paraguay side, and will become even more important as the side will be without midfielder Victor Caceres who is suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the draw against New Zealand.

Japan meanwhile, will count on the continued success of Honda, who has scored a pair of goals and set up another thus far in the tourney. The side has won on the six occasions that the CSKA Moscow midfielder has scored, so a quick goal from the 24-year old phenom could raise the squad’s level of confidence early on.

But the Japanese attack doesn’t end with Honda. Yasuhito Endo also scored a remarkable free kick against Denmark before substitute Shinji Okazaki sealed it with a late goal to clinch their place in the last 16.

This is a match that could go either way. Japan’s rapid counter-attacks and dead-ball prowess could prove lethal for Paraguay. Fundamentally they are a team who get back into their defensive positions well, using a back-line of four and practically five midfielders to stop the opposition.

Paraguay vs. Japan Free Pick

Paraguay will struggle to stretch the Samurai Blue who will edge them out by single goal.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California.

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