SOCCER FREE PICKS
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2022 FIFA World Cup Play Off Game: June 13
Two teams vying for one spot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will have their fate decided today. Australia and Peru will compete to be the final team in Group D, consisting of Denmark, France, and Tunisia. The match will be held at the beautiful Al Rayyan Stadium in Qatar.
There is little history between both nations, having met in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the group stage with the teams representing Group C along with Denmark and France. In a match that was essentially played for pride with both teams being unable to secure a position to the knockout rounds with a win, it was the Peruvians who came out on top in Sochi. Peru would score in both halves to win with a final score of 2-0 which ended up being their only goals scored in the tournament.
Australia finds themselves coming into the game off a 2-1 victory over the United Arab Emirates last Tuesday. It was a tight one which was decided in the 84th minute by midfielder Ajdin Hrustic. The “Socceroos” are expected to enter today’s game with the same lineup as they fielded against UAE or have very minimal changes made to the squad.
Peru scheduled an international friendly with New Zealand last week to prepare for the Australians. A second-half goal from Gianluca Lapadula (69’) proved to be enough for Peru to claim victory. One negative take away from the game was that even though Peru managed to keep 63% possession, it only led to one shot on target.
I believe this game will play out very close and will likely be decided by one goal. Peru has shown during qualification that if they can get the lead they can play at a very slow pace which they are comfortable doing so for the duration of the game. Australia was unable to score against Japan and Saudi Arabia during qualification, teams that are slightly worse than Peru at defending. I think for Peru, the matches and experience gained against higher-level nations during qualification like Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay will favour them in a game like this. I expect Peru to punch their tickets to Qatar.
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