When: 5:00PM, Saturday, June 16th, 2018
Where: Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia
Peru return to the World Cup after a 36-year absence in Russia, but they have a tough task ahead of them if they are going to qualify from Group C. They will begin their campaign against a solid looking Denmark side on Saturday evening in what looks like a must win game for both sides. France will start as the favourites in Group C, and both sides know that if they lose this opening game, then they will need to get something out of the game against the French to qualify.
Peru come into this tournament in superb form, with Ricardo Gareca’s side unbeaten in their last 15 matches. One of the main stories surrounding this Peru team has been concerning their captain, Paulo Guerrero who received a 14-month ban for cocaine use and was only cleared to play in the World Cup in May after his Group C opponents wrote letters to a Swiss tribunal. Guerrero is the all time record goal scorer for Peru as well as their captain and talisman and alongside Jefferson Farfan, he will be looking to lead his side to glory. Peru have been solid at the back in recent months with just one goal conceded in their last seven matches and Gareca will be hoping that continues in Russia.
Denmark also come into this World Cup in solid form with just two defeats in their last 10 matches. The Danes have struggled on the road recently though with no victories in their last three away matches and that must change in Russia. The undoubted star of this team is Christian Eriksen and the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will be tasked with breaking down a stubborn Peruvian defence on Saturday. Eriksen has a pretty solid defensive unit behind him with Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer and Andreas Christensen looking to keep the goals out.
This could be a really tight game on Saturday evening and neither side will want to give anything away. Both sides know that if they lose this match, their World Cup hopes could effectively be over. Both of these sides are better defensively than they are going forward and I think they could well cancel each other out in this one and therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the game end 0-0 or 1-1.
Betting Tips (Coral)
The bookmakers obviously agree that this will be a very tight game with Denmark priced up as slight favourites at odds of 11/8 – checked at this BetVictor Review, whilst a victory for Peru is priced up at 11/5, with the draw available at 21/10. I can see this game ending in a draw, so those odds look great to me. Whatever happens, I don’t think there will be too many goals on show from two teams who are solid defensively and therefore, the 4/7 on Under 2.5 goals in the match looks like a solid bet. Christian Eriksen is the talisman for Denmark and the Spurs ace is currently price boosted to 12/5 to score in the match.
Draw – 21/10 (Coral)