Peru World Cup squad guide: Group, full fixtures, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Wednesday 06 June 2018 10:48 BST
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Peru feature in Group C at the 2018 World Cup
Peru feature in Group C at the 2018 World Cup (Getty)

Peru are appearing in their first World Cup finals since Spain 1982 after a chaotic end to their qualifying campaign. Peru were one of the five teams which were in contention to clinch the last two automatic qualification places from the South America region, but drew with Colombia and other results did not go in their favour, forcing them into a play-off with New Zealand that they came through 2-0 on aggregate.

Managed by popular former Argentina forward Ricardo Gareca, who took charge in 2015, Peru were expecting to plan their World Cup without their captain Paolo Guerrero who had been given a doping ban. However, a Swiss tribunal agreed to lift his 14-month ban for testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in October 2017.

Fifa initially banned Guerrero for 12 months, but the Peru captain insisted the positive test was a result from drinking contaminated tea. The ban was halved but the Court of Arbitration for Sport extended the ban to 14 months after an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency, meaning he would miss the World Cup.

However, a Swiss tribunal ruled the extension “unjustified” and lifted the ban while his appeal is considered.

Fixtures

Peru vs Denmark, - 17:00, Saturday 16 June.
France vs Peru, - 16:00, Thursday 21 June.
Australia vs Peru, 15:00, Tuesday 26 June

Key players

Jefferson Farfan: Jefferson Farfan may be the best known Peru player in Europe after spending seven years at Schalke. With the German club he won the DFB Pokal and DFL-Supercup as well as regularly appearing in the Champions League and Europa League. He scored from close range during Peru’s 2-0 win against Scotland but only hit four in qualification.

Paolo Guerrero: Despite his problematic preparations leading up to the World Cup, Paolo Guerrero is one of Peru’s most important players and their leading scorer. The 34 year-old forward spent an injury-hit four years at Bayern Munich and made 27 appearances for the first team before moving to Hamburg and then back to South America.

Paolo Guerrero will be allowed to play at the World Cup despite failing a drugs test (Getty)

Andre Carillo: On loan at Watford, Andre Carrillo is the only Premier League representative in the Peru squad. He joined Benfica in 2016 as a promising winger and is beginning to make his mark on the international stage, with two goals in his four appearances for Peru in 2018.

One to watch

Christian Cueva: The joker in the pack, Christian Cueva is someone defenders will struggle to pick up because of his ability to drift into space and quickly change pace over short distances. The Sao Paulo midfielder looked very good against Scotland and scored a penalty in the 2-0 win.

How did they get here?

The floodgates opened and the tears flowed at full time when Peru beat New Zealand with a 2-0 play-off victory to seal their place in the World Cup. Farfan and Christian Ramos’ goals either side of half time after a goalless first leg sealed Peru’s first ticket to the World Cup for 36 years. The country’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski praised the “warriors” on Twitter and thanked them for “giving us this joy.”

How will they do?

Aside from France, Group C is looking relatively open. A win against either Australia or Denmark could well be just enough for Peru to get out of their group. Matching their World Cup best of the quarter finals they achieved in 1970 would be a near-miracle.

Odds on winning the World Cup: 200/1

Squad

Goalkeepers: Carlos Caceda, Jose Carvallo, Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Alberto Rodriguez, Aldo Corzo, Anderson Santamaria, Miguel Araujo, Miguel Trauco, Christian Ramos, Luis Advincula, Nilson

Midfielders: Pedro Aquino,Wilder Cartagena, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Paolo Hurtado, Andy Polo, Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun.

Forwards: Paolo Guerrero, Andre Carrillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Jefferson Farfan.

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