Brazil seeking respite against Paraguay

Rio de Janeiro, March 28 (IANS) Midfielder Luiz Gustavo has admitted that Brazil must defeat Paraguay on Tuesday to provide “tranquility” in their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup football in Russia.

Brazil drew 2-2 with Uruguay in Recife on Friday, a result that left them third in the South American zone qualifying standings, behind Ecuador and Uruguay, reports Xinhua.

The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying tournament will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the fifth team will earn a play-off berth.

“Every game in these qualifiers is difficult,” Gustavo told reporters on Sunday.

“Most teams like to play long balls and that makes it a struggle. We have to prepare for these difficulties. The qualifying tournament is long but every point is important, especially when playing away from home.”

Paraguay have been a thorn in Brazil’s side in recent years, having eliminated them from successive Copa America tournaments at the quarter-final stage.

And Ramon Diaz’s team are not lacking confidence, having defeated Bolivia and drawn Ecuador – who lead the standings – in their past two matches.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Gustavo, who plays for Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg. “We need to play well and get a good result to give us some tranquility. Only a victory can give us that. The table is worrying.

“Paraguay are going to do their best to make it difficult for us. We have be focused and play as a team, all working towards the same objective.”

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