Peru and Denmark will get their 2018 World Cup campaign underway in Saransk in Group C’s second game set for Saturday evening.
FIFA World Cup
16 June 2018
Kick-off: 18h00 CAT (GMT+2)
Venue: Mordovia Arena
Referee: B. Gassama
Assistant referees: J. Birumushahu, A. Etchiali
Fourth official: M. Charef
Fifth official: A. Hmila
Players to watch
Paolo Guerrero will no doubt be the centre of attention for Peru with the striker having recently been handed a lifeline to play at the World Cup.
Guerrero, who is Peru’s all-time top-goalscorer, missed the play-offs against New Zealand due to a 14-month ban after he tested positive for a cocaine by-product contained in a tea.
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— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018
For Denmark, all eyes will be on talented midfielder Christian Eriksen, who was impressive for Tottenham during the 2017/18 season.
With his country having missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Eriksen last played at the 2010 tournament in South Africa as a teenager but has now developed into a complete playmaker for his club and country.
Team form and manager quotes:
Peru was very impressive in their warm-up matches but played a goalless draw against Sweden in their last match leading to the global showpiece in Russia.
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018
Peru coach Ricardo Gareca told reporters that his side is ready for their opening match and Guerrero is also in good shape to help his country do well at the World Cup.
“Paolo is playing very well since playing with the national team,” he said.
“I know he is very, very happy and I think he is very well situated.”
The Danes have been inconsistent in their preparations for the World Cup but managed to get an impressive 2-0 win over Mexico in their final match, with Eriksen once again their best player scoring one and assisting the other.
Coach Age Hareide admitted that Guerrero will be a threat against his team.
“He is a classic star player, a strong finisher and really good in the box,” Hareide told Bold.dk.
“We have seen all Peru’s matches including the match against Sweden and expect them to continue playing well.”
Gareca is expected to start with Guerrero in attack having said the player is ready to play. The Peruvians will also look to the talents of Jefferson Farfan to play an important role as well as his country make a return to the big stage after a 36-year absence.
Eriksen will also be expected to play a leading role for Denmark as it was his hat-trick in the 5-1 demolition of Ireland that secured a spot in World Cup for the Danes.