In our Peru Preview: World Cup 2018, we share our analysis about this Peru team who last appeared at the World Cup finals in 1982.
Peru Preview: World Cup 2018
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caceda, Jose Carvallo
Defenders: Aldo Corzo, Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos, Miguel Araujo, Alberto Rodriguez, Anderson Santamaria, Miguel Trauco, Nilson Loyola
Midfielders: Renato Tapia, Pedro Aquino, Yoshimar Yotun, Paolo Hurtado, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Andy Polo, Wilder Cartagena
Forwards: Andre Carrillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero
- Manager: Ricardo Gareca
- Captain: Paolo Guerrero
- Best Finish: Quarter-Finals (1970)
Likely starting lineup
Although this is the first time in 36 years that Peru have been involved in the World Cup, there’s not been much time for excitement in the buildup due to the furore surrounding the availability of star striker Paolo Guerrero.
There were major doubts about whether or not he would be able to take part in Russia due to a 12-month doping ban that was issued in October 2017 after the 34-year-old tested positive for a cocaine metabolite.
The ban was then reduced to six months, before being increased back to 14 months, although after support from team-mates and other high-profile figures in the game—including France and Denmark captains Hugo Lloris and Simon Kjaer—in the form of an open letter, a Swiss supreme court ruled Guerrero should be available for selection.
So he’s in the squad and finally a nation can begin to get geared up for the World Cup for the first time since 1982. And they have a pretty handy side to get behind.
Peru finished in fifth in South American qualifying, although they were the dominant side in their playoff clash with New Zealand without Guerrero. In the buildup to the tournament they’ve really shone, scoring a stunning team goal that went viral in a 2-0 win over Croatia in March before beating Iceland, Scotland and Saudi Arabia.
La Blanquirroja should be tremendous fun to watch too, as Gareca sets his team up to keep possession and play expansive football. There’s no danger of them taking a backwards step against France in Group C, something we may see from the Danes and the Aussies.
The issue for Peru may be that their key men in Guerrero and Farfan—aged 34 and 33 respectively—are arguably a little past their best. However, having been involved in the national setup for so long, the prospect of a first World Cup may prompt them into rolling back the years one more time.
Key Man – Paolo Guerrero
Given the controversy surrounding his involved at the tournament, there’ll be a pressure on Guerrero to deliver the goods for Peru in a group they’re capable of getting out of.
The signs have been positive lately, though, as the Flamengo forward showed no signs of rustiness in the 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia, grabbing his 33rd and 34th goals for the national team in his comeback outing. That’ll settle plenty of nerves ahead of the big kickoff in Russia.
Guerrero may no longer have the energy to get involved in general play or run the channels, meaning there’s an onus on the rest of his team-mates to create chances for him. In the main, he’s shown he’s capable of still putting them away, with no active player more prolific than him in Copa America matches. There’s certainly an appetite for the big occasion within him.
Given what we’ve seen from Peru under Gareca, the opportunities should come, especially in the games against Denmark and France. Based on his pedigree in the Blanquirroja jersey, you’d back Guerrero to thrive on the basis of that enterprising football.
Peru’s Group Stage fixtures
Saturday, June 16
Thursday, June 21
Tuesday, June 26
Peru’s path to the final
If Peru wins Group C, their Round of 16 game will be against the country that finishes second from Group D which will either be Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria or Croatia. If Peru wins that Round of 16 game, Peru will enter the quarterfinal stage with a game against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group A (Russia, Uruguay, Egypt or Saudi Arabia) and the team that finishes second in Group B (either Morocco, Iran, Portugal or Spain). If Peru advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the E1 vs. F2 versus G1 vs. H2 series.
If Peru finishes second in Group C, Peru will play the team that finishes first in Group D (either Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria or Croatia). If Peru wins that game, it would be in the quarterfinal against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group B (either Morocco, Iran, Spain or Portugal) and the team that finishes second in Group A (either Russia, Uruguay, Egypt or Saudi Arabia). If Peru advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the F1 vs. E2 versus H1 vs. G2 series.
Peru World Cup shirt (home)
The design draws inspiration from the crowned eagle, proudly displayed on the country’s coat of arms and team badge. In second color red, there is a diagonal chest pattern in darker red, representing an eagle cutting through the competition.
Peru World Cup shirt (away)
The Peru jersey, red with a white sash, is the inverse of the popular home jersey, which is one of the most iconic and admired designs in the game.
Umbro has added gold accents. Gold piping outlines the sash and federation badge. Strips of Umbro diamonds are on the shoulders.
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