The Nations of the 21st World Cup – Peru

Peru National Team

Photo by Peru NT Twitter

Every four years, national pride and footie artistry reach peak levels in a global dance of no small magnitude, the World Cup is here again. This summer, all eyes will be focused on Russia as the time to crown a champion draws ever near. With the sport’s best and brightest from 32 lucky nations on display, it’s time to take a look at what each squad brings to the table. We will dive deep beyond the usual team sheets, we’ll scratch beyond the player names, and get you ready to be the smartest on the couch/bar stool for Russia 2018.

Peru

Qualifying Record(W-D-L) 7-5-6
Current FIFA World Ranking (April 2018) – 11th
World Cup 2014 Finish – DNQ
Russia 2018 Group C (France, Australia, Peru, Denmark)
Formation – 4-2-3-1
Strengths – Chameleons (Flexible), Aggressiveness and pressing ability, Directness.
Weaknesses – Setpiece defending can be spotty, aggressiveness can be a negative, problems when they drop deep to defend, No Guerrero?
Major Threats – Jefferson Farfan, Andre Carillo, Paolo Guerrero (if he’s there)

Peru have not been to the World Cup since 1982, and this time they made it through via a playoff win over Oceania’s New Zealand. The Peruvians will look to make up for lost time though and will probably play one of the most direct and attractive brands of football in Russia 2018.
Are you a fan of La Blanquirroja or just really love the National Team Jerseys? Remember to buy a shirt now before the tournament starts!

Realistic Federation Goal for RUSSIA 2018:

It may have been a long time since they last played at the global stage but the FPF will believe Peru can get out of the group stage at the minimum. In Ricardo Gareca, Peru have one of the most intelligent coaches at the World Cup, the optimism isn’t without merit.


DEFENSE:

A theme with quite a few teams going to Russia is the flexibility they will bring to the occasion. Peru is no different. They have the ability to adapt their style to the opponent, they can be possession based, they can sit back, they can play at different tempos but the one thing they typically maintain is a four man backline and they’re a coiled cobra always ready to strike the opponent on the counter. You get the idea that this team is at its best when pressing the opponent into errors and capitalizing quickly and so Peru play some really direct attractive stuff going forward but defensively, when they choose to play a reactive game, they can be had. Dropping deep tends to bring errors with it for Peru, while also denying spectators and the team its natural flair that is the greatest weapon they have. The key thing to note about Peru’s defense is if they’re sitting deep for an extended period of time, it’s not a good thing, and you’ll likely see a bad Peru. If they’re pushed higher up the pitch, the reverse is most likely going to be the case.

This defense plays narrow in the defensive phase and going the other way, they expand into a flourish stretching the opponent from the back, side to side. The great thing about being narrow is they’re hard to break down from the middle but if the opponent is capable of excellence from the wings to stretch Peru with quick interpassing of various depths, the cracks appear for La Blanquirroja.
The centerback pairing of captain Alberto Rodriguez and Christian Ramos can be shaky from setpieces and an opponent built on good setpiece execution and great wingplay could make life tough for Peru. The wingbacks are electric. Miguel Trauco and Luis Advincula are legitimate contenders for top 10 left and rightbacks in the world. Trauco is fast and powerful and since coming into the side as a regular, he has helped shore up Peru’s left side. Advincula on the right has lungs for days and he truly makes the right flank his own.

The goalie could be Pedro Gallese or Carlos Caceda, both are great options who offer a good security blanket as the last line of defense. Peru have no goalkeeping worries.

MIDFIELD:

In midfield, Coach Gareca has built a platform with Yoshimar Yotun and the excellent Renato Tapia of Feyenoord. They’ll present the base for Andre Carillo and Christian Cueva to bomb down the flanks. Edison Flores may also start on the wings with Carillo pushed forward as the support striker especially if talisman Paolo Guerrero cannot overcome his ban. Peru have a good identity pressing high up and these wingers are key in blocking spaces while the forwards push aggressively.
The philosophy is simple, press spaces, get the ball forward as quickly as possible. Reset.
Peru can be a finesse passing side too. It’s part of their chameleon ability. When they choose to pass the ball around, it’s not that Arsenal-esque style of sterile passing (sorry Gooners), Peru pass the ball around midfield and defense with the sole aim of luring the opponent to sleep and springing the ball forward quickly.

Jefferson Farfan of Peru

Jefferson Farfan will carry the hopes of Peru

STRIKERS:

In attack, Peru will miss Paolo Guerrero if he doesn’t overcome the doping issues he has been facing. He may be the best striker from anywhere playing on the entire South American continent. Fast, strong, cold blooded, and with the vision and workrate of a jaguar, Guerrero turns Peru from a participant to a dark horse. There is a good chance his ban will cause him to miss the global showcase.
However, Coach Gareca’s cool & calm demeanour has helped the team cope with Guerrero’s absences and if he misses the tournament, they’ll still be a side who can bite hard. Long serving veteran Jefferson Farfan and the suddenly hot Raul Ruidiaz will have to carry the load if Guerrero isn’t there. Farfan is a different kind of forward from the Flamengo man and he presents a different set of problems for a defense. He isn’t as adept at holding up play and linking runners like Guerrero can, but he doesn’t need to be that when he can singlehandedly wreck a defense with very direct running. He’s strong on the ball, and when you combine that with his pace and lungs, it can be a lot to handle. Ruidiaz is also not the typical #9 Guerrero is. He will likely play off Farfan and not be relied to lead the line.
Andre Carillo can also play the forward role slightly behind Farfan, he brings trickery and directness as well. If you get the sense that Peru are direct, and good at dribbling, that’s exactly correct.

GAME by GAME (v Denmark, v France, v Australia)

*Keys to Denmark game: Can Peru overcome any nerves and be a reflection of their coach? Can they frustrate Christian Eriksen without getting a man sent off? Denmark can be killers from setpieces, can the defense keep away from killer errors on those plays?
Can they breach Denmark’s organized defense with the few counterattacking opportunities that may come? Can Peru finish whatever chances come their way and not be wasteful? Can Gareca’s brilliance tip the balance for his team?
Prediction: This game will be a game of mental callisthenics. If Peru can hold their nerves and play their game, they should match up well with the Danes. A draw seems like a likely result because while Denmark’s organization and ability on setpieces may trouble Peru, the South Americans ought to be able to pass their way quickly thru the Danes.

*Keys to France game: Can Gareca use his superior coaching acuity to stomp Didier Deschamps? Can the movement of France’s wingers be coped with? Can the strength of Olivier Giroud or the French #9 be blunted?
Can Peru take advantage of French complacency? Can Peru punish the tactical errors Deschamps tends to make? Can Peru make France desperate?
Prediction: This is not a good matchup for Peru. France has all the weapons to rip up all Peru’s weaknesses. Even with Didier Deschamps hampering Les Bleus with baffling decision making, France should still have too much in the tank and ought to win this.

*Keys to Australia game: Can the Peruvians handle Australia’s neat passing game? Can they cope with the fluidity of the Aussie attack? Can Peru handle the initial press Australia will bring? Can Peru score enough goals?
Prediction: Peru qualified for the World Cup by beating the ‘younger’ brothers New Zealand and they should be able to handle the Australians as well if they play their game. In a group that may hinge on goal difference, Peru’s failure to score plenty may be a problem and a win may not be enough.

Ricardo Gareca

Here’s the likely Peruvian Roster for Russia 2018

GOALKEEPERS (3): Carlos Caceda, Pedro Gallese, Jose Carvallo

DEFENDERS (7): Alberto Rodriguez, Christian Ramos, Miguel Trauco, Luis Advincula, Aldo Corzo, Anderson Santamaria, Luis Abram

MIDFIELDERS (10): Yoshimar Yotun, Renato Tapia, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores, Sergio Pena, Pedro Aquino, Wilmer Cartagena, Paolo Hurtado, Andy Polo, Christian Benavente

FORWARDS (4): Andre Carillo, Jefferson Farfan, Raul Ruidiaz, Paolo Guerrero*
*Guerrero’s ban may not get overturned and he may miss Russia 2018.

Piece by Tise Okuo, frequent Center Circle writer, a recovering fan of Arsenal FC and lover of football.

 

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About the author: Tise Okuo

 

Soccer nut. Arsenal fan, used to enduring hard times. Admirer of the purity of tiki-taka, total football, catenaccio, and any other system bold enough to be itself. In my spare time, I am a professional thinker. Engage with me on Google+.

 

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