Verdict: Peru to win – yes
Best Odds: 5/4
Group C in the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be decided this next Tuesday, and there a few things clear concerning which teams will make it to the knockout stages. With France already qualified and Peru already out, Denmark and Australia will battle for the second position in the standings during the final matchday. With that in mind, Australia will try to secure all three points against Peru, but knowing that they will also have to have an eye on what happens between Denmark and France. Will the Socceroos manage to advance?
Australia face a tough situation heading into a potential place in the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After losing the tournament opener against France (2-1), The Socceroos bounced back and secured a huge 1-1 draw against Denmark that kept them alive heading into the final match of the Group C. But Australia do not have an easy path to reach the knockout stages. Aside from beating Peru – a dangerous team despite the fact they got eliminated – they also need to wait for a few results to do down their way; most notably, France would have to win against Denmark and Australia would need to score at least two goals against Los Incas. Will they able to accomplish that feat? That sounds like a tough thing to achieve, as the only two goals scored by Australia in the tournament came through VAR-conceded penalties – and both were scored by Mile Jedinak. This is probably Australia’s biggest game in quite a while. But it remains to be seen whether they will be up to the challenge or not.
The Socceroos won’t be at full strength ahead of this game.
Striker Andrew Nabbout suffered a serious shoulder injury the last time out against Denmark. The Urawa Red Diamonds forward will miss the remainder of the competition.
Peru have endured a tough trip on Russian soil thus far. Ricardo Gareca’s men have lost their first two games (against Denmark and France, both 1-0) and are already eliminated from the competition, but their play has not been on par with their defeats. Los Incas could have easily escaped with a good result against Denmark but they wasted far too many chances. And they were unlucky against France, too, wasting clear scoring opportunities and hitting the woodwork in the second half. Now the Peruvian side will have a golden chance to escape with at least one win from the World Cup, since Australia are several steps below both France and Denmark when it comes to quality and experience. Will the CONMEBOL side live up to the expectations, or will they manage to end their adventure on Russian soil with three straight losses? The only thing we know is that the South American side has not given up on any match. This shouldn’t be different. If they play like they did before the World Cup, it wouldn’t be crazy to imagine them winning before departing back home, while putting the nail on the coffin that represents Australia’s chances to reach the Round of 16.
Feyenoord central midfielder Renato Tapia will return to the starting XI after missing the game against France due to injury.
Gareca won’t have the team at full strength, though. Alberto Rodriguez and Jefferson Farfan won’t feature in this one due to physical problems. Anderson Santamaria and Andre Carrillo will act as replacements.
Key Factors to Consider
- Australia have lost just once in their last five matches. They register a W2, D2, L1 mark over that span.
- On the other hand, Peru are riding a three-game winless run (D1, L2). They have two wins, one draw and two losses in their last five.
- This will be the first all-time meeting between these two sides.
- If we combine Australia’s and Peru’s last five games – 10 in total – only four have seen over 2.5 goals. Only one of Peru’s last five has seen that outcome, none of the two at the World Cup.
- Australia still have a chance to qualify to the next round with a win, but they would depend on what happens with Denmark. Meanwhile, Peru do not have a chance to reach the knockout stages after losing their first two games. The CONMEBOL side will play for nothing but their pride.
Peru have deserved better luck in the first two matches, but both ended in losses. Australia, meanwhile, have looked decent thus far and will play with an eye towards reaching the knockout stages.
Los Incas are the better side here, though. And Peru will finally live up to the expectations to secure the win, leaving the Socceroos eliminated.
Verdict: Peru to win – yes
Best Odds: 5/4
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