The clash between Peru and Denmark will be played at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on June 16th. The Incas are the slight underdogs here, but that doesn’t mean they will back down against Denmark, a team that is considered as the second-strongest team in the group, but we will get an answer who is better when the teams meet on Saturday.
Peru vs. Denmark
Three-Way: 1: Peru +229; X: +225 Draw; 2: Denmark +140 (Odds provided by Delaware Park Sportsbook)
Spread +0.5: Peru -167; Denmark +129
Total 2.5 goals: Over +129; Under -167
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The road to the World Cup
The two-time Copa America winners waited 36 years to get back to the World Cup which is the longest wait of all 32 teams here in Russia, excluding the debutants Iceland and Panama. Peru needed a couple of playoff games in qualifications against New Zealand to make it to the WC, and although they were the quarter-finalists in 1970, their best result so far, the Peruvians are not expected to go that far this time around.
On the other hand, the Danish Dynamite made it to their fifth World Cup after their debut in Mexico 1986. And despite not being a part of the tournament four years ago in Brazil, it seems that this side could make a few surprises in Russia. Denmark booked their ticket to Russia through the playoffs when they destroyed Ireland in the second leg in Dublin, dismantling them, 5-1. Their biggest success at the WC is the quarter-final in France 1998.
Peru is more than a year and a half without a defeat which is a fantastic record, and following a 2-0 loss to Brazil in November 2016, they won ten and drew five games. The Incas played five friendly games this spring and won four of them, keeping the net intact in four of those five, even though they faced such opponents as Croatia and Sweden in the process.
Denmark wasn’t that good recently as they won two and lost two out of the previous six matches, but they are unbeaten in the last four, keeping the clean sheet in all of them including in the latest tilt with Mexico, which the Danish Dynamite won 2-0.
Players to watch
The absolute legend in Peru and their all-time leading scorer, Paolo Guerrero, wasn’t supposed to play at this World Cup because of his cocaine use related ban by FIFA, but after they reconsidered the decision, they lifted the ban, and Guerrero scored a brace on his return following a seven-month absence. It was decided that at the age of 34 he will not get another opportunity to lead his nation at the World Cup, and considering that Peru didn’t participate since 1982, FIFA went a bit soft on him and lifted the original ban. There is no doubt that the striker will be highly-motivated to drive his team forward, so I expect him to be a constant threat to Kasper Schmeichel’s goal on this one.
Christian Eriksen is the man to watch for Denmark, not only because he is by far the best scorer at the moment, but also because he is alpha and omega of this generation. His hat-trick in the second leg of the playoff tilt with Ireland propelled Denmark to Russia and I think he will be the MVP of this side here as well.
- Peru is undefeated in the last 15 games
- Peru kept the clean sheet in six out of the previous seven matches
- Denmark is without a loss in the last four games
- Denmark didn’t concede a single goal in the previous four matches
These teams never met before, and although their recent defensive records suggest otherwise, I think we will see a lot of action and goalscoring opportunities on this one. I am not brave enough to go with over 2.5 goals, but I will try to exploit excellent odds at +100 for both teams to score.
The Pick: Both teams to score YES (+100)