Peru vs Denmark – Saturday, June 16, 17:00BST/18:00CEST/19:00 MSK – Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia
After a 36-year wait, Peru have finally returned to the World Cup. La Blanquirroja ended the wait after finishing fifth in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying and then eliminating New Zealand in the intercontinental playoffs.
It was a joyous occasion in Peru’s capital Lima as La Banquirrojafulfilled the hopes and desires of an entire nation to return to the World Cup. But the drama was not quite complete there yet.
After all, there were doubts on whether superstar Paolo Guerrero would be allowed to participate in Russia. The Flamengo forward had tested positive for cocaine and was suspended for six months. After serving his suspension, the Court of Arbitration in Sports extended the ban to 14 months, however, and Guerrero would have missed the World Cup.
That decision, however, was overruled by a Swiss court, which means Guerrero will be a member of the side when Peru play their first match since 1982.
Facing them will be Denmark. The Danish Dynamite did not qualify four years ago for the tournament in Brazil. A small nation Denmark are very much reliant on producing golden generations to be competitive.
The current side, however, seems promising with the likes of Yussuf Poulsen, Thomas Delaney, Kasper Schmeichel and superstar Christian Eriksen leading the squad. With Australia and France being the other two sides in Group C Denmark and Peru will likely be the two teams competing for second place.
Hence, the result on Saturday will go a long way in determining whether Denmark or Peru will have the upper hand when it comes to the race for second place. Given Denmark’s experience at big tournaments and the depth in talent Danish Dynamite will likely have the advantage.
Peru vs Denmark – Players to look out for:
Jefferson Farfan #10 – Peru (Lokomotiv Moscow)
No other player on the Peru side will know Russia better than Jefferson Farfan. Farfan plays for Lokomotiv Moscow and was a key player for the side that won the Russian Football Premier League this May – although 33-years old Farfan remains a quick and explosive attacking midfielder.
Christian Eriksen #10 – Denmark (Tottenham)
Christian Eriksen could be one of the players, who will use the World Cup as a stage to make a move to a European giant. The Tottenham playmaker can dazzle on a good night, and it was his goals that led Denmark to this tournament with the number 10 scoring eight goals in ten games for Denmark.
Peru vs Denmark – Match Stats
- This is the first time the two countries face each other.
- Peru have qualified for the first time since 1982 – none of the other World Cup participants had a longer gap between two World Cups.
- Peru have not a World Cup match in six games (D2 L4).
- In three, out of four, World Cups Denmark managed to reach the next round.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Peru vs Denmark – 1-1
Peru vs Denmark – Lineups
Gallese – Trauco, Rodríguez, Ramos, Advíncula – Tapia, Yotún – Cuefa, Farfan, Carrillo, Guerrero
Head Coach: Ricardo Gareca
Schmeichel – Stryger Larsen, Kjær, Christensen, Dalsgaard – Kvist, Delaney – Sisto, Eriksen, Poulsen – Jorgensen
Head Coach: Age Hareide
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.