A really interesting match kicks off Tuesday morning to close out Group C action, when the Socceroos of Australia take on Peru. It’s a tale of two very different motivations in this contest as Peru has already been eliminated. Australia on the other hand have a lot to play for.
First, they’ll be hoping for a bit of fair play in the Denmark/France match. If those teams play to a tie – Australia is eliminated regardless of their result vs. Peru. But if the Danes lose, the door is wide open for the Aussies, who will need to secure a win and ensure their goal differential is better than Denmark. A chance is definitely there for an Australia squad that nobody predicted anything from this World Cup. Though their style is defensive, they’ll need to go for it and be attack-minded against a pesky Peruvian squad. Can they pull off the improbable? Read on below for how I see the game playing out as well as an official betting prediction for this intriguing showdown.
Australia vs. Peru Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (+110)
Under 2.5 (-130)
Australia vs. Peru Pick:
Following a couple of very harsh losses, the Peruvians have to enter this final match feeling really hard done by. Sometimes in these tournaments, it all comes down to the order in which you face the opposition – and Peru seems to have been dealt a bad hand. They dominated Denmark but lost, and carried the play vs. a powerhouse French side, and lost. Now they’re playing an Australia team that they are better than and should beat – but their motivation remains in question. With nothing on the line, can they muster enough pride to secure a result and hopefully score a goal? I think yes. This is a proud team with many fans supporting them in Russia, and they’ll want to put on a good final show with their rare trip to the world stage.
For Australia, they’ve got a real chance for progression here – but need to take care of Peru first. They’ll need to deviate from a defensive approach in order to secure three points, and expect manager Bert van Marjwik to recognize this and push his troops forward in a more aggressive manner. It remains to be seen how the Aussies will handle such a stark tactical change, but they have looked surprisingly comfortable on the ball in their first two games.
Both of Australia’s goals this tournament have come via Mile Jedinak penalty kicks – but I think they have a chance to score from open play vs. Peru. The Peruvians managed by Ricardo Gareca, haven’t been as stout as they were before the World Cup. I’d also expect the Aussies to feature 19-year old Daniel Arzani who looked dynamic in the midfield against Denmark when he subbed onto the pitch. He is speedy and quite elusive, and should be able to provide service to the Aussie strikers.
While the motivation of Peru and the mediocre overall quality of Australia makes picking a result in this match tricky, I think the best betting option comes in the totals market. Peru prides itself on its attacking football and finishing ability, and with all of their chances and possession they simply will score in this tournament. Nobody wants to leave without a single goal, and I think they’ll net one. Australia in turn knows they need to play very attack-oriented to secure a victory, and with more of an emphasis on skill and direct play – I think the Socceroos will push hard for goals as well. It may not be enough if France/Denmark draw, but I think there will be chances and goals from this exciting final Group C encounter.
MY PICK = Over 2.5 (+110)