World Cup pre-game: Paraguay vs. Spain

The European champions have South American side Paraguay between them and a semifinal berth at the World Cup, as the two clash Saturday (CBC,, 2 p.m. ET)

Day 24, Match 2

Paraguay vs. Spain, quarter-finals

Date and location

Saturday, July 3, Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (2 p.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

A spot in the semifinals in a match against the winner of Argentina-Germany.

Player to watch for Paraguay

Lucas Barrios  — Paraguay has now been held without a goal for two straight games. Some of that blame has to go at the feet of Barrios. The spearpoint of Paraguay's attack hasn't scored a goal so far, and his side needs he and fellow slumping forward Roque Santa Cruz to bounce back in a big way if La Albirroja are to pull off a monumental upset.

Player to watch for Spain

David Villa — Will this man ever stop scoring for his country? The Euro 2008 golden boot winner has netted four of Spain's five goals in the tournament so far, tying him for the overall lead in the World Cup. He has been, by leaps and bounds, Spain's most dangerous attacker moving forward, making him one of the most dangerous strikers in the tournament.

Key matchup

Edgar Barreto vs. Xavi  — Barreto, Paraguay's combative holding midfielder, has to contain Barcelona's sublime playmaker if Paraguay is to have any chance against Spain. If Xavi is allowed to run free, so will Spain, and the match will be over quickly.

The Paraguayan perspective

"It's really pleasing to be able to make history with this squad. The team's doing really well, we're very united and we can go further." — striker Lucas Barrios

The Spanish perspective

"[The Paraguayans] have very good defenders but also attackers. We must be fully focused to win that match. We know how difficult it is to be victorious, we can't take anything for granted. We must be hugely respectful of our next opponents." — coach Vicente Del Bosque

World Cup head-to-head

The two sides have met twice at the World Cup. In 2002, Spain overturned a 1-0 deficit to defeat Paraguay 3-1 in the group phase. The two also met in the group stage in 1998, when Paraguay held Spain to a 0-0 draw.