World Cup Group C: Desperate Australia take on ousted Peru
Australia must win their final group game against already eliminated Peru to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, but if they can pick up the points, they have a great chance at reaching the last sixteen.
So with the final round of matches to go, it is between Denmark and Australia in Group C to see you will join France into the next round of Russia 2018. It's simple for Australia they have to win and hope Denmark lose. If both results happen goal difference will decide who will progress - with the Aussies needing a two-goal swing. If both games were to finish 1-0 the team from Down Under would go through on goals scored.
Peru have impressed, but two 1-0 defeats have seen them crash out of their of their first World Cup since 1982. Australia are playing in their fourth straight finals and hope to match their achievements of 2006 when they made it out the group stage.
The meeting is the first ever between the two sides, with the game taking place in the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, which has already featured four games in the tournament; including the incredible 3-3 draw between Portugal and Spain.
FIFA Ranking: 36th
This game is simply all about the Socceroos. They have more than held their own so far, but have only been able to pick up a point from the two games with France and Denmark. Against the Danes, they deserved the draw even if the result came with the help of a spot-kick.
In both matches, Australia have started with the same 4-2-3-1 formation, but the midfield three really pushed on against Denmark during their 1-1 draw. It was only some fantastic goalkeeping from Kasper Schmeichel that denied Australia all the points.
Against Peru, they will be expected to take the lead in the game and be on the front foot if they are to get the win they desperately need.
So far Tim Cahill has yet to get on the pitch, but the most experienced player in the squad scored some huge goals in qualifying and if given the chance, could make the difference. He may get the opportunity in this one, as forward Andrew Nabbout has been ruled out after a serious shoulder injury; picked up during the game with Denmark.
FIFA Ranking: 11th
Despite not picking up a point and being out of the competition, Peru have brought a great deal to their first Finals in 36 years. Their fans have produced a fantastic atmosphere in Russia, while on the pitch they have been some what unlucky to lose both games. Against France they were always second best, but hung on in their and had late chances to keep themselves alive.
However, they will be keen to get something results-wise, and definitely will want to give their vocal support to shout about.
In their two outings so far they have played the same 4-2-3-1 line-up as Australia, but have started different forwards. In their first match, Jefferson Farfan played, while Paolo Guerrero got the nod vs Denmark. Farfan though, may not be available for this one after suffering a head injury following a clash in training. After the incident, he was kept in hospital as a precaution.
In a game like this, it's tough for Peru. Do they stick or twist? Will other players get their chance? Or does the same side that has fought valiantly over the last two games play again?
Both sides have definitely performed better than their results suggest. Australia have to win and Peru have nothing to lose so it should be an entertaining affair However, Australia have looked the better of the two sides when going forward. With that in mind, I think the Aussies will get the victory they need, putting all the pressure on Denmark to get a point against France. Australia 2-0.