Sports Mole preview Monday’s World Cup 2022 intercontinental playoffs between Australia and Peru, including predictions, team news and potential line-ups.
One of the last two spots for the World Cup 2022 will be decided in the AFC-CONMEBOL Intercontinental Playoff on Monday, as Australia take over Peru in the host country Qatar.
The Socceroos scraped the United Arab Emirates 2-1 in the last qualifying round while their opponent finished fifth in CONMEBOL qualifiers.
There could hardly have been more contradictory results Graham Arnold and Australia during World Cup qualifiers, with the Socceroos coming through the second round without losing a single point and starting the third round with a trio of straight wins.
However, Australia continued to win just one of their next seven games in the stage to narrowly make the playoffs, while Japan and Saudi Arabia thwarted while points lost to Oman and China did not help their cause.
Arnold’s side were far from their best performance in the fourth round against the United Arab Emirates but scored goals in the second half Jackson Irvine and Ajdin Hrustic on both sides Caio Canedos response sent them to Qatar – at least for the playoffs – and a potential spot in Group D with France, Denmark and Tunisia.
The 42nd nation in the world has featured at every World Cup since 2006 but has endured three consecutive group stage eliminations since then and Arnold has reiterated that the way his side performed against UAE would not bear fruit Battle.
The Socceroos have now gone five straight games without conceding and could again choose to field some relatively inexperienced names in Qatar, with the pressure to make some smart tactical decisions extremely heavy on Arnold’s shoulders.
With just seven points from the first 18 points on offer against strong South American opponents, Peru were in danger early on in CONMEBOL qualifiers, however Ricardo Gareca did what he does best to keep his side’s hopes alive for a coveted place in Qatar.
Gareca helped Peru end their 36-year losing streak at the 2018 World Cup, conceding just one defeat in his side’s last six qualifiers to move them into fifth place while eliminating heavyweights like Colombia and Chile in the process.
The 2019 Copa America runners-up warmed up in an ideal way for the World Cup Intercontinental Playoffs by beating another Oceanian nation in New Zealand Gianluca LapadulaThe national team’s seventh goal was the difference and sixth win in nine games for Peru.
Securing back-to-back World Cup appearances for the first time since 1982 would only raise Gareca’s standing among Blanquirroja loyalists, and the two sides are no strangers to big stakes.
Indeed, Australia and Peru were grouped together following their successful qualifying streaks at the 2018 World Cup, and Gareca ensured his side’s 2-0 win in Russia, but the 64-year-old is sure to quash any questions about that victory before Monday’s giants a battle.
Australia World Cup 2022 Qualification Form:
Australian form (all competitions):
Qualification form for the World Cup 2022 in Peru:
Peru form (all competitions):
Australia did not lose an injured player against United Arab Emirates in the fourth round despite being a midfielder Tom Rogic withdrew from the squad last week for personal reasons.
striker Adam Taggart was back in training earlier this week as he stepped up his offer to become an available but 60-cap defender Trent Sainsbury still plagued by a knee injury, according to the Hearts centre-back Kye Rowles could occupy the defensive line again alongside his club-mate Nathaniel Atkinson.
There were calls for Arnold to return Matthew Leckie far as to its natural role Jamie Maclaren returns to the attacking line but whether the Socceroos manager will heed that advice remains to be seen.
As for Peru, defender with 105 caps Luis Advincula He missed the friendly win against New Zealand through injury, but the 32-year-old’s father declared his son fit for the playoffs.
General in midfield Renato Tapia has also put himself through his paces in training and should run well from the first whistle, but Edison Flores and Christian Ramos can’t make it
Pedro Aquino and Aldo Korso will make way for the returning Tapia and Advincula respectively while acting at left-back Marcos Lopez was substituted off injured against New Zealand and should give up his place to Miguel Trauco.
Australia possible starting line-up:
Ryan; Atkinson, Rowles, Wright, Behich; mooy; Boyle, Irvine, Leckie; Hrustic, Maclaren
Peru possible starting line-up:
Gallesian; Advincula, Zambrano, Callens, Trauco; Tapia, Yotun, Pena; Carillo, Lapadula, Cueva
We say Australia 0-1 Peru
The defensive backbone of this Peru eleven has held up well against some of South America’s big boys over the past year, which should worry Aussie fans given their recent underwhelming performances.
The returns from Advincula and Tapia are undeniably huge for Gareca’s side and we expect La Blanquirroja to quash their opponents on the attacking front and expose an inexperienced Socceroos defense as they did in 2018 to qualify for the World Cup.