World Cup Preview: France v Peru

France take on Peru in Yekaterinburg this afternoon (4 pm GMT). They know that a win will see them all but qualify for the World Cup knockout stages.

Peru, on the other hand, know that they need a result against the European Championship finalists from two years ago if they are to get out of Group C.

France v Peru

Talismanic captain Paolo Guerrero is expected to start for the South Americans after coming off the bench against Denmark. Peru’s all-time leading scorer currently has 34 international goals. He will likely need to add to his tally to give his country a chance of progression.

Olivier Giroud is pushing for a French starting berth after being involved in the winner against Australia. The Chelsea striker was left on the bench for the opening game but offered an important focal presence when he was introduced. He could be involved from the start against Peru. 

The game will be played in the Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg, the most easterly host venue of this World Cup and the only venue that stands in Asian Russia.

After stumbling their way past Australia, France will need to move up a gear to beat Peru. They were unlucky to lose to Denmark after Christian Cueva’s missed first-half penalty. Antoine Griezmann opened his account for the tournament following a controversial VAR penalty call, but chances created from open play were at a premium. Manager Didier Deschamps has plenty of options at his disposal to ensure Les Bleus get the ball to Griezmann, Mbappe and company in better areas more frequently. 

Peru are competing in their first World Cup finals since 1982 and were fancied as ‘dark horses’ pre-tournament, following strong form during qualifying that took them from 48th to 11th in the FIFA World Rankings. ‘Los Incas’ played with pace and freedom in their opening game. However, they missed a clutch of chances to score the all-important first goal. This includes Cueva’s blazed penalty and they will have to show a much more clinical edge this time around. 

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