Colombia vs Paraguay: 5 key elements to watch out for as Luis Diaz, James Rodriguez ambush La Albirroja

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As Colombia and Paraguay gear up to kick off their 2024 Copa America campaigns at the NRG Stadium in Houston, anticipation is reaching fever pitch.

With Colombia riding a wave of momentum and Paraguay eager to prove their mettle, here are five exciting things to watch out for in this Group D clash.

1. Colombia’s Unbeaten Streak

Colombia enter this tournament brimming with confidence, boasting a remarkable 23-match unbeaten run. Their last defeat came over two years ago at the hands of Argentina in February 2022.

Under the guidance of Nestor Lorenzo, Los Cafeteros have displayed formidable consistency, currently enjoying an eight-match winning streak.

This run includes a commanding 3-0 victory over Bolivia, highlighting their potent attacking verve. Can they maintain this impressive form and extend their unbeaten streak further in Houston?

2. Paraguay’s Defensive Resilience

While Paraguay may not have the same recent success as Colombia, they have shown a knack for defensive solidity.

Under Daniel Garnero, La Albirroja has become adept at defending deep and hitting on the counter-attack. They have conceded a goal or fewer in nine of their last ten matches, showing their organized and disciplined backline.

Against a high-flying Colombian side, Paraguay’s defence will need to be at its best to keep the likes of Luis Diaz and James Rodriguez at bay.

3. Key Players and Milestones

This match will feature several key players who could make a significant impact.

For Colombia, James Rodriguez, who recently earned his 100th cap, will be a crucial creative force in midfield. Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, on the brink of his 50th cap, has been in fine form, netting his 12th international goal in their last outing.

On the Paraguayan side, captain Gustavo Gomez is set to reach his 75th cap, while goalkeeper Carlos Coronel aims to build on his recent clean sheet against Panama. The performances of these experienced players could be pivotal in determining the outcome of this encounter.

4. Historical Context and Rivalry

The historical context adds an extra layer of intrigue to this matchup. Colombia has had the upper hand in recent meetings, winning their last four encounters against Paraguay. Their most recent victory came in a 1-0 triumph during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

However, Paraguay’s last Copa America victory over Colombia dates back to 2007. With both teams eager to start their campaign on a positive note, this match promises to be a fiercely contested battle.

5. Tactical Battle

From a tactical standpoint, this game will be a fascinating duel between Colombia’s fluid attacking play and Paraguay’s robust defensive setup.

Nestor Lorenzo’s men have shown their ability to dominate possession and create scoring opportunities, while Garnero’s side is well-drilled in soaking up pressure and launching swift counter-attacks.

How Colombia navigates Paraguay’s defensive wall and how Paraguay exploits counter-attacking opportunities will be crucial to the game’s narrative.

As the teams take to the pitch in Houston, all eyes will be on how these elements play out.

Will Colombia’s attacking flair and unbeaten run prevail, or can Paraguay’s resilience and counter-attacking prowess cause an upset? One thing is for sure: this is a match not to be missed.