There are few national teams in the world playing as well as Argentina, which is cruising to what looks like a sure berth to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. That’s the challenge facing Peru on Thursday as it heads to Buenos Aires in the hope of leaving with at least a point to keep dreaming of joining Lionel Messi and Argentina in Qatar.
Peru (3-6-2, 11 points) is four points out of fifth place in the South American qualifying standings, which would guarantee advancement to a World Cup play-in series against a team from another region. A narrow 1-0 loss in Bolivia on Sunday was a serious blow to the Peruvians’ qualifying hopes and a trip to Argentina’s Estadio Monumental will prove even more daunting.
The reigning Copa America champion Argentina (6-0-4, 22 points) is unbeaten in 24 consecutive games since July 2019. In front of its supporters at the Estadio Monumental, the Argentines put on another show in a 3-0 win over Uruguay in their last outing Sunday. It wasn’t all smooth sailing in that match, and Argentina could’ve easily fallen behind if not for a couple of stellar stops from goalkeeper Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez. But history is in its favor against Peru.
MORE: South America standings, results & schedule
The all-time series is decidedly in Argentina’s favor (33-5-14) — Peru has not defeated Argentina in any competition since the 1997 Copa America and the Peruvians have never won a qualifier in Buenos Aires. But they can at least aim to replicate their performance against Argentina in the 2017 qualifier in Buenos Aires when they came away with a 0-0 draw.
How to watch Argentina vs. Peru
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 14
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Streaming: fuboTV
Argentina vs. Peru and every World Cup qualifying match in South America can be streamed exclusively on fuboTV in English and Spanish.
The matches are also available on a pay-per-view basis via cable and satellite TV providers.
Argentina vs. Peru: Lineups
Head coach Lionel Scaloni has a full squad available for selection and, as usual with his lineups, he has several interchangeable parts — such is the competitive level of Argentina’s roster. He typically rotates his right backs (Gonzalo Montiel and Nahuel Molina) and left backs (Marcos Acuna and Nicolas Tagliafico), his central midfielders (Guido Rodriguez, Leandro Paredes and Exequiel Palacios) and his wing positions (Nico Gonzalez or Angel Di Maria).
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Reports indicate the lone injury concern is left back Acuna and whether he will be fully recovered from a muscle injury that kept him out of the victory against Uruguay. At right back, Molina could get a break after starting the last two matches and could make way for Sevilla’s Montiel.
Argentina projected starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 23-Emiliano Martinez-GK — 3-Nicolas Tagliafico, 19-Nicolas Otamendi, 13-Cristian Romero, 4-Gonzalo Montiel — 20-Giovani Lo Celso, 18-Guido Rodriguez, 7-Rodrigo De Paul — 15-Nicolas Gonzalez, 22-Lautaro Martinez, 10-Lionel Messi
Argentina projected subs: 12-Juan Musso-GK, 1-Franco Armani-GK, 6-German Pezzella, 2-Facundo Medina, 2-Lucas Martinez Quarta, Marcos Acuna, 21-Nahuel Molina, 5-Leandro Paredes, 14-Exequiel Palacios, 22-Lucas Alario, Julian Alvarez, 17-Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez, Angel Correa, 16-Joaquin Correa, 11-Angel Di Maria
Peru will be without a number of starting-caliber players: Paolo Guerrero, Renato Tapia, Edison Flores, Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula, who joined the list with a muscle strain. Peruvian media outlets indicate that head coach Ricardo Gareca was working with the following group ahead of the match:
Peru projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): 1-Pedro Gallese-GK — 6-Miguel Trauco, 22-Alexander Callens, 5-Carlos Zambrano, 4-Jhilmar Lora — 19-Yoshimar Yotun, 23-Pedro Aquino — 11-Raziel Garcia, 7-Sergio Pena, 8-Christian Cueva — 9-Gianluca Lapadula
Peru projected subs: 21-Jose Carvallo-GK, 12-Carlos Caceda-GK, 3-Marcos Lopez, 2-Luis Abram, Oslimg Mora, 15-Christian Ramos, 13-Wilder Cartagena, 16-Christofer Gonzales, 10-Jefferson Farfan, 16-Gabriel Costa, 18-Santiago Ormeno, Horacio Calcaterra, Alex Valera
Argentina vs. Peru: Betting odds & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Pick: Under 2.75 Asian Total Goals (+105)
Especially in light of their absences, Peru will likely aim to get out of town with a draw. That would require a conservative strategy dictated on interrupting the flow of the game. You don’t want to get in a track meet against Argentina’s transition game.
For an example of what to potentially expect, take Peru’s road game in Brazil in September: 29 combined fouls, nine total yellow cards and only five total shots on target. In the October 2017 scoreless draw in Buenos Aires, also with Gareca as its coach, Peru only took two shots.
The Under 2.5 total goals (+125) has a shot in this game, but the Asian total is a safer play. In Peru’s past nine qualifiers, only two have seen three or more goals. Two of Argentina’s five home qualifiers have gone over. And when these two teams played in Peru in November 2020, it was a 2-0 Argentina win.
The Under 2.75 Asian Total refunds half the bet if it’s exactly a three-goal game.
Prediction: Argentina 2, Peru 0
- Moneyline: Argentina -575 / Draw +650 / Peru +1600
- Spread: Argentina -2.5 (+145) / Peru +2.5 (-190)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -155 / Under +125
- Both Teams To Score: Yes +180 / No -240