Italy does not look like world champions by any means; this has become increasingly apparent in their warm up matches. It showed even more during qualifying.
Ok, in qualifying Italy had a good win ratio but they were in a group containing some dire teams.
To be perfectly honest, out of the major teams, Italy has the lowest expectations.
There are some major absentees for Italy. Pirlo will surely be missed and Camoranesi is also injured.
The important thing for this match will not be losing since Italy generally starts out slowly in tournaments. As long as they can tie, that may just be acceptable against a confident looking Paraguay.
Paraguay has proven that they are a team which can take on anyone and come out with a result. They comfortably beat both Brazil and Argentina at home during qualifying.
Their side is very well organized at the back and it will take a lot for them to break down.
Italy will have to watch out for Santa Cruz, Valdez and Cananas up front or they may find themselves down early.
Italy is the world champion and they need to start playing like they are. They’ve looked lackluster recently and are going to have to bring their A game here if they want to avoid an upset.
Both sides will probably take a protectionist approach to the game so the odds of seeing a draw here will be quite high and unfortunately so will the odds of watching a dull match. The sides are of course capable of some fantastic futball but considering both teams would benefit from taking the single point here, that is likely to be exactly what we will not see.