Venezuela vs Peru – Maturin (March 23rd)
Peru will want to get back on track after losing at home to Brazil 2-0. Peru are 5 points behind 5th placed team Argentina, but will look to get the 6 points in this international break as the dream for Russia 2018 is far from over. However, Venezuela will not make it at all easy. Venezuela are currently the team at the bottom with 5 points and only 1 win. It is fair to say they are essentially eliminated from World Cup contention as even a serious run will not be enough for them to qualify. However, demoralization will not be a factor in this duel as Venezuela will believe that Peru are the most winnable game left for them, and as they do not want to finish bottom, they will go out looking for the win. Peru want to win to keep their world cup qualification hopes alive also depending on other results. Peru has had a good record against Venezuela in recent times but these games were in Lima or on neutral ground. Since the beginning of the century, Peru has lost every game away to Venezuela.
Players to watch
Salomon Rondon (West Brom)
Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
Adalberto Peñaranda (Malaga)
Miguel Trauco (Flamengo)
Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo)
Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo)
Last 4 matches
Peru 2-2 Argentina
Chile 2-1 Peru
Paraguay 1-4 Peru
Peru 0-2 Brazil
Uruguay 3-0 Venezuela
Venezuela 0-2 Brazil
Venezuela 5-0 Bolivia
Ecuador 3-0 Venezuela
Head to head since 2010
Peru 3 wins
Venezuela 1 win
Other matches. What benefits Peru the most?
Colombia vs Bolivia – Barranquilla
A Bolivia win most benefits Peru however this is very unlikely. Peru will be focused on the other results whilst still hoping that Bolivia could possibly force Colombia to drop points.
Paraguay vs Ecuador – Asuncion
Peru here will be hoping for a draw as both teams are threatening. A Paraguay win could wake them up and put them back in the race but an Ecuador win will put them farther away in the table with more home games to come. Ecuador don’t lose in Quito very often. They have the altitude and play in the middle of the day to make things tough for the opposition. Add that to the equation as well as that they are a good team.
Uruguay vs Brazil – Montevideo
This is the match that will least matter to Peru as both teams are much further ahead than the rest. Although Peru will be most hoping for a Uruguay win. Brazil beating Uruguay may serve as a wakeup call and could see the Uruguayans fired up for the next game which is against Peru in Lima.
Argentina vs Chile – Buenos Aires
Any win here could serve Peru in some way. Chile winning will put Argentina in a dangerous position as they still have some very tough fixtures coming up, however Chile losing could also help as Chile could begin to fall behind. Chile winning is probably better for Peru due to Argentina’s upcoming fixtures but this topic is very debatable.