June 21, 2018 08:01 PM NPT
Photo Courtesy: Agencies
France and Peru meet in Ekaterinburg
The pair suffered differing fortunes in their opening matches
France and Peru head into an encounter that is set to be a decisive one, not just for their own fortunes, but for the overall outcome of Group C. France can potentially book passage to the knockout stage with a win, while Peru likely need at least a point to avoid suffering an painful early exit on their FIFA World Cup return.
France opened with a 2-1 win over Australia, though it was an indifferent performance fromLes Bleus who needed an unlikely own goal to edge past the Socceroos. But France have a galaxy of high-level attacking stars in their arsenal, so the odds are against a second successive flat performance in the attacking third.
Peru, for their part, will feel they deserve a slice of luck after their unfortunate 1-0 loss to Denmark on Saturday in their first World Cup match for 36 years. Opening nerves may have now settled, but the pressure remains on the South Americans who have little margin for error against a high-profile opponent.
Team reporter analysis
France’s players are divided between the satisfaction of victory and frustration at the nature of their performance. However, every squad member is aware that the team now has to step-up in order to overcome a very hungry Peru, and a strong work ethic was on display at training this week. Now, the question is: will Didier Deschamps start with the same young line-up, or will he call back the experienced Giroud and Matuidi? - Adrien Gingold with France
Against Denmark, Peru executed their plan almost perfectly, however in football the "almost" has no value to the final score, when the rival is more effective. "We must remain calm," said Ricardo Gareca, who in turn said that the football strategy will not change. Will he make a change of personnel to boost the offensive strength against France? All roads lead to Paolo Guerrero. - Gilda Arrua with Peru
Did you know?
These two teams are certainly unfamiliar with each other. Their only meeting was way back in April 1982, just prior to Peru’s previous World Cup appearance. The balance is currently in favour of Peru, who won on that occasion by a single goal in Paris.
Possible line-ups France: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kante, Blaise Matuidi; Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe.
Peru: Pedro Gallese, Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos, Alberto Rodriguez, Miguel Trauco, Pedro Aquino, Yoshimar Yotun, Andre Carrillo, Edison Flores, Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero.