Group C: Peru vs Denmark - soccer world cup Preview

Two players compete for ball

The Peruvians and the Danes go head to head in the second Group C encounter at the 2018 soccer world cup this Saturday. 

Peru and Denmark will go head to head at the Mordovia Arena on Saturday. With group favourites France expected to beat Australia, both sides know that victory will boost their chances of making the last 16.

Peru vs Denmark | Saturday 16 June | Mordovia Arena (18:00)

To Win Match
Peru 5/2
Draw 22/10
Denmark 23/20

*Please note that this preview was compiled before pre-tournament friendlies were played. 

Peru
Peru ended a 36-year finals absence by qualifying for Russia after finishing fifth in the South American group – at the expense of Chile – and then overcoming New Zealand in the intercontinental play-off. Since 2017, Los Incas, led by Argentinian manager Ricardo Gareca, are riding a 12-game unbeaten streak with nine wins, having beaten Uruguay and Ecuador in the CONMEBOL qualifiers and recording friendly wins over fellow soccer world cup participants Croatia (2-0) and Iceland (1-0) in March.

Gareca’s men will have a tough fight with Denmark to accompany France to the Round of 16, but the Peruvians will be confident of victory after their talismanic captain and all-time top scorer Paolo Guerrero was cleared to play despite a doping ban. The 33-year-old, who has been capped 86 times by his country, scored six goals in qualifying.

Sitting just behind Guerrero, Christian Cueva is the creator in the final third for Peru. He scored four goals in the CONMEBOL qualifying stages while setting up countless others. The Sao Paulo star will look to cause the Danes problems, while Lokomotiv Moscow’s Jefferson Farfan is another creative spark.

Denmark
Denmark are back in the soccer world cup for the first time since 2010 and have not participated in a major tournament since Euro 2012. However, they come to Russia in good shape and well respected. Age Hareide’s side went on an 11-game undefeated run after losing to Poland and Montenegro in October 2016, before losing to Sweden in January 2018.

In that streak, the Danes recorded a thumping 4-0 win over Poland in September and a 5-1 win at Ireland in the second leg of their European play-off to qualify for the finals, with Christian Eriksen netting a classy hat-trick. The Tottenham playmaker looks in great form heading to Russia, which makes anything possible for the Danish. Only Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo could better the midfielder’s remarkable goal haul of 11 in Europe’s Russia 2018 preliminaries.

Andreas Christensen is another key player for Hareide’s side. The 22-year-old defender, who was voted Chelsea’s Young Player of the Season, will be tasked with keeping Guerrero quiet. Christensen has dealt with some of the best strikers in Europe and he’ll be confident of winning the battle. Sevilla’s Simon Kjaer will partner the Chelsea star in defence with Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel in goal.

Faced with Peru and Australia in their opening two games, the Danes will be aiming for two victories before taking on France in their final Group C clash.

Verdict: Denmark Win 23/20
I think it will be a tight affair here, but I’m backing an Eriksen-inspired Denmark to win the clash and boost their chances of progressing from the group.

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