Australia and Peru meet in their final group stage game at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. THT takes a look at three players who could leave their mark on the game.
Australia will be aiming to keep their faint Round of 16 qualification hopes alive when they face off against Peru at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on Tuesday. Peru though, are playing their final game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and will look to bow out on a high, having been one of the most impressive teams in the competition.
Meanwhile, Bert van Marwijk will have one eye on the game between France and Denmark, as a loss for the Danes can send Australia through, if they beat Peru on Tuesday. The Hard Tackle now takes a closer look at three players who could make the difference in the Group F game in Sochi.
The Australia captain is a major reason why Bert van Marwijk & co. are still in with a chance to make the Round of 16, albeit a slim one. Mile Jedinak has fired in each of the goals that the Socceroos have scored in the competition so far, with his prowess in penalties coming good.
The Aston Villa midfielder has also done his primary job extremely well, keeping things organised all around him, quite simply leading from the front. Australia will need their captain to be at the top of his game once again, with the points tally not doing justice to how dangerous Peru have been thus far.
At the same time, Jedinak will also have his eyes on a record as he could become the first Australian to score three goals at a World Cup edition, although his primary responsibility will still be to stifle the Peru attack in the middle of the park before relaying the ball forwards quickly.
All the pre-tournament talk, as far as Peru were concerned, centred around Paolo Guerrero and his bid to get his doping ban overturned. While the Peru captain has been one of the better performers for the side, there have been other players who have gone on to make a bigger mark at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One such player is Andre Carrillo.
Coming off an underwhelming campaign with Watford in the Premier League, he wasn’t even a certain starter. In fact, he only started the first game because Guerrero wasn’t fit enough to last the entire match. But, since then, Carrillo has turned on the style and has posed the biggest threat for Peru thus far.
Against Australia, he is set to be pivotal once again, with his darting runs on the flanks, which should keep the full-backs on their toes. With Peru set to depart from Russia after this game, Carrillo will give it one final push and who knows, they might just grab their first points of the tournament.
While Australia have been admirable in their own half with their defensive solidity, they have failed to make much of an impact in the final third. Their strikers, in particular, have barely posed a threat in and around the opposition box, which has made their pursuit of their first win all the more complicated.
While Tomi Juric is expected to start on Tuesday, there have been calls for Tim Cahill to be handed his first start at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. While that is unlikely to happen, the veteran striker should get his first minutes off the bench, if things don’t go to plan.
And, if there’s anything that Cahill knows how to do, it’s to score goals. If he does find the back of the net, the 38-year-old will also join an exclusive group of players to have scored in four different World Cup campaigns and perhaps, even set Australia on the path to reach the Round of 16.