Australia v Peru preview
Australia will be chasing a slim chance of making the World Cup last 16 when they take on Peru in the final Group C game on Tuesday.
For the Socceroos to qualify, they must beat Peru and hope Denmark lose by two goals or more to France to overturn the goal difference between them.
However, Australia coach Bert van Marwijk made it clear on Monday that what happens 1,000 miles away in Moscow does not matter if his side do not beat Peru.
“They are proud players and they played two times. They won but they didn’t play the way they can play and they are one of the best teams in the world,” Van Marwijk said.
“I think they want to prove it and show it to the whole world. But I have no influence on that. The think I have influence on is the game against Peru.”
The Peru fans have been a highlight of the tournament, travelling to Russia in huge numbers to support their side at a first World Cup in 36 years, and their side have played some good attacking football and have had 27 shots so far at this World Cup, but are yet to score.
But captain Paolo Guerrero says Peru do not want to go home with nothing, telling a press conference: “We were very disappointed after being knocked out, it is hard to accept after playing so hard.
“But I see all my team-mates with the knife between their teeth. They don’t want to go home empty-handed. We are looking forward to it and we’d like to at least go home with three points so we can give a little bit of joy to the fans who have come all this way and who are watching back home.”
Andrew Nabbout dislocated his shoulder against Denmark and could miss the remainder of Australia’s World Cup campaign.
Peru forward Jefferson Farfan will not play in their final group match as he remains in hospital after being knocked out in training at the weekend.
Coach Ricardo Gareca admits the team suffered a scare when the Lokomotiv Moscow striker collided with a team-mate on Saturday, with the Peruvian Football Federation confirming he had sustained a “traumatic brain injury”.
This will be the first encounter between Australia and Peru.
Australia have picked up just one point and scored just one goal against South American teams in World Cup group stages (three games in total).
Peru will be facing a side from Oceania for the first time in a World Cup finals, however, they faced New Zealand in a qualification playoff to get to this stage – winning 2-0 over two legs.
Australia have kept just one clean sheet in their 15 previous World Cup games (0-0 vs Chile in 1974), conceding at least once in each of their last 12 matches.
Australia’s last three World Cup goals have all come from the penalty spot. No side has ever scored four consecutive goals from spot-kicks in the competition’s history (excluding shootouts). Australia have lost four of their last five World Cup matches, with their draw against Denmark last time out ending a run of four straight defeats.
Mile Jedinak has scored both of Australia’s goals so far in the 2018 World Cup. No Australian has ever scored more in a single edition before (Tim Cahill two in 2006 and 2014, Brett Holman two in 2010).
Mile Jedinak has scored with both of his shots at this World Cup so far, with both efforts coming from the penalty spot.