Mordovia Arena - World Cup Group C
Peru and Denmark get their World Cup journeys off and running on Saturday, as they lock horns at the Mordovia Arena. It’s a great chance to stake an early claim in Group C, with one of the tournament favourites France also featuring in the section.
This will be the first time the teams have played each other, whether in a competitive or friendly fixture. Both sides have played against Sweden this month in their warm-up campaigns, with both games ending goalless.
Watford forward Andre Carrillo is in the Peru squad, but he may have to settle for a place on the bench for this game. Captain Paolo Guerrero - who almost missed the tournament due to a doping suspension - is their main threat going forward, along with former PSV man Jefferson Farfan.
There’s no doubting who the star man is for Denmark. Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen is one of the world’s most talented midfielders, and his hat-trick in the second leg of their play-off against the Republic of Ireland secured the Danes’ presence in Russia.
Peru v Denmark Preview and Predictions
Although France are expected to cruise to top spot in Group C, there’s a great opportunity for the other three teams to progress to the knockout stages. Australia join Peru and Denmark in making up the group, and this game could go a long way in deciding who reaches the last 16.
Peru are competing in their first World Cup since 1982, and are buoyed by the presence of their captain who won a last-ditch legal appeal against his ban. Former Argentina and Boca Juniors player Ricardo Gareca takes charge of Los Incas, and he’s brought a possession-based style back to the national side in a bid to restore former glories.
The South Americans are 5/2 for the victory here, while Denmark start as the favourites at 29/20. Coach Age Hareide played for Manchester City and Norwich in the 1980s, and has managed his native Norway in the past. They may be a little light up front, but playmaker Eriksen makes this team tick.
A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either side, and that’s priced at 59/25 in the betting. As both sides will be looking to get off to a good start, the score draw looks most likely if the game ends in a stalemate, and that’s 15/4.
Eriksen to score anytime at 37/13
The Spurs man has 22 goals in 78 international appearances, and he’ll be a threat from set-pieces as well as open play.
Denmark to win and both teams to score at 23/5
Peru will give everything on Saturday with France up next, and Guerrero and Farfan have 59 international goals between them.