Saturday, October 19, 2019

Prediction: Peru vs Croatia

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 23 Mar 2018

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Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Two teams that clinched a berth in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup will meet this Friday on American soil, and both will use this friendly match to make the final adjustments to the respectives squads. The game will start at 1 AM this Saturday.

Peru

Ricardo Gareca’s men were one of the most surprising teams in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, as the Argentinian manager led Peru to a fifth-placed finish in the qualifiers and settled their World Cup draw after defeating New Zealand in a two-legged playoff tie. Now this team will represent the first World Cup appearance for Peru since Spain 1928, and there is enough talent here on the current squad to imagine Peru advancing into the next round despite the fact they got squared in a zone with France, Denmark and Australia. The team has several things to fix yet and there is a dark cloud over Paolo Guerrero’s situation, but in either way the team needs to prepare as best as they can to avoid an early exit in Russia. If they play like they did in the Qualifiers, then watch out!.

Team News

Peru won’t have two of their most important players ahead of this game.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese is out of the squad due to injury, while Paolo Guerrero remains suspended and is not elegible to return yet.

Croatia

Croatia got squared in a complicated zone in the UEFA World Cup qualifiers, and had to battle with the likes of Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey and Iceland for 1 1/2 berth. The team ended in second place and they didn’t have problems later on to eliminate a combative – yet poor technically – Greek side. Croatia has one of the best teams of their young history right now thanks to players such as Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic, but they need to tighten things up at the back since they have struggled when it comes to goals conceded away from home. This game against Peru will give them the chance to do that considering Dejan Lovren will be sidelined due to injury. However, it will also allow them to prepare since they will play against Argentina in the Group Stage.

Team News

Croatia are almost at full strength ahead of this game.

The lone two absentees are Dejan Lovren and Matej Mitrovic. Both are out due to nagging injuries.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams have important absences, but the Guerero one should be quite big for Peru since the former forward is the heart & soul of the team.
  • Peru are riding an impressive 10-game undefeated streak, with six goals and four assists arccora competitons.
  • This will be the first meeting between both countries in any competition.
  • Croatia have a balanced effort playing away from home, thanks to five away, two draws and three defeats.

Conclusion

Both teams will enter this game looking to find alternatives on the attacking end in order to avoid dependency on their star players, and both teams will have to adjust to at least one absence on the defensive end of the pitch.

This game has the potential to be quite open, so I see both teams scoring at least once.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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