Argentina welcome Peru for a World Cup qualification showdown at Estadio Monumental on Friday at 12:30 am (UK time).
The hosts come into this latest fixture on a 14-game unbeaten streak in this competition while their visitors are seeking a return to successful ways following a 1-0 defeat to Bolivia.
Argentina vs Peru live stream:
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Where to watch Argentina vs Peru on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: N/A
Scoreline prediction: Argentina 2-0 Peru
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Argentina vs Peru build-up & previous line-ups:
Despite trailing leaders Brazil by six points there’s cause for optimism regarding Argentina’s participation in next year’s World Cup finals. The two-time winners have missed just one of the last 15 editions of Fifa’s prestigious international tournament and that was in 1970 when they failed to qualify. Lionel Scaloni’s men, who are the reigning Copa America champions, come into this latest round of fixtures having won six of their previous 10 qualifiers which means they (and Brazil following their abandoned match) have a game in hand on their immediate rivals which does not include seventh place Peru whom they’ve faced on 52 previous occasions subsequently winning 33 times. However, their most recent home qualifying game against their neighbours in October 2017 ended in a goalless draw, which ended a six-game winning run in this competition.
That point was attained in Peru’s successful campaign which saw them end a 36-year absence from the World Cup finals. Under the leadership of Argentine tactician Ricardo Gareca they were unable to escape Group C featuring eventual champions France, Denmark and Australia. Los Incas did manage to leave Russia with a victory, in their final game against the Socceroos with talismanic marksman Paolo Guerrero and André Carrillo netting in a 2-0 success. In this qualifying round so far Peru find themselves seventh after 11 matches played but importantly five points adrift of the automatic qualification spots with seven games remaining. As touched upon, their record against Argentina is poor with four of Peru’s five wins (from 52 played) over La Albiceleste coming on home soil. The other win — a 2-1 success — came at the 1963 Copa America finals in Bolivia.
- Argentina (vs Uruguay): E. Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Paredes, De Paul; Lo Celso, Messi, González; L. Martínez.
- Peru (vs Bolivia): Gallese; Advíncula, Ramos, Callens, López; Aquino, Yotún, Gonzales; Costa, Lapadula, Cueva.
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Player to watch: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
His exceptional performances at this summer’s Copa America, where he played a pivotal role in Argentina ending a 28-year trophy drought, strengthened Lionel Messi’s case to win a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or crown. Individual honours are far from his thinking at the moment with Messi’s focus solely on securing La Albiceleste‘s place at next year’s World Cup finals.
That being said, only Marcelo Moreno (eight) of Bolivia has netted more WCQ goals than Messi’s six, with the Argentininian also level with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar. Argentina’s No.10 — who is now on 80 goals for his country — also comes into this latest fixture having nine times across his past 13 games in 2021. However, he’s failed to score in each of his five previous outings against Peru, across seven total meetings Messi has one goal against The Incas.
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