Peru - Argentina Preview: Sabella's charges look to consolidate top spot against the Inca
Wins over Ecuador and Paraguay have catapulted the Albiceleste to the World Cup summit in South America, but the road to Brazil 2014 continues with a tricky trip to resurgent Peru
By Daniel Edwards
Ramos, Zambrano, Rodriguez, Yotun;
Ramirez, Cruzado, Vargas;
Farfan, Carrillo, Pizarro
Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo
Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria
Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi
Corinthians hitman Paolo Guerrero is the big doubt for Peru as they look to follow up a comeback victory over Venezuela with three more points against Tuesday's visitors. The ex-Hamburg star suffered a foot injury in the last match and, although he trained normally on Monday, Sporting youngster Andre Carrillo is waiting in the wings if the captain cannot start.
Argentina welcome back former captain Javier Mascherano to the starting line-up as they hope to confirm their place as leaders of the Conmebol World Cup qualifiers with a fourth straight victory in the competition. The Barcelona man replaces Rodrigo Brana in the midfield, but injured Sergio Aguero will again miss out despite completing his own suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Peru's victory over Venezuela was only their second of the qualifying competition. The Inca have been hurt by the absences of key players so far and lie seventh in the standings with six points.
- The last time the Andean nation entered a World Cup was in 1982. Four years earlier they made the second round, where a talented team exited the competition following a suspicious 6-0 defeat at the hands of hosts and today's rivals Argentina.
- Coach Sergio Markarian is a true globe-trotter. The Uruguayan's CV includes spells in Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mexico and Greece - while he also spent 12 years of his youth living in Argentina.
- Peru's record appearance holder, Roberto Palacios (right), is a fascinating character. The playmaker, who retired this year at the age of 39, took part in the Million Man March and is well known for his charity work in Haiti where he has travelled many times. He won 128 caps between 1993 and 2012.
- Argentina overtook Chile and Uruguay at the top of Conmebol qualifying thanks to a 3-1 win over Paraguay on Friday. It continued the nation's perfect record of five games, five triumphs in 2012.
- Coach Alejandro Sabella has been targeted by the press since arriving in Peru, for an unhappy time spent there with Estudiantes. The La Plata club were thrashed 4-1 by Alianza Lima in the nation's capital in the 2010 Copa Libertadores, eventually going out in the last-eight.
- Both Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain will be hoping to catch Luis Suarez at the top of the goal charts. The Liverpool man has six so far, while 'La Pulga' boasts four strikes and 'Pipita' has hit the net five times.
- The history books suggest that Argentina start as comfortable favourites. The Albiceleste have won 31 out of 46 matches played between the two nations, with only five going the way of Peru. The last win for the home team came in the 1997 Copa America, triumphing 2-1 against an eight-man Argentina who also missed a penalty.
Top 3 Predictions
Peru 0-4 Argentina
- 14.26 %
Peru 0-3 Argentina
- 12.31 %
Peru 1-3 Argentina
- 11.95 %
|World Cup Qualifying - South America (WCQS)||12-Oct-2013||Argentina 3 - Peru 1|
|World Cup Qualifying - South America (WCQS)||12-Sep-2012||Peru 1 - Argentina 1|
|World Cup Qualifying - South America (WCQS)||11-Oct-2009||Argentina 2 - Peru 1|
|World Cup Qualifying - South America (WCQS)||11-Sep-2008||Peru 1 - Argentina 1|
|Copa America (CA)||08-Jul-2007||Argentina 4 - Peru 0|
|16-Oct-2013||Peru 1 - Bolivia 1||WCQS|
|12-Oct-2013||Argentina 3 - Peru 1||WCQS|
|11-Sep-2013||Venezuela 3 - Peru 2||WCQS|
|07-Sep-2013||Peru 1 - Uruguay 2||WCQS|
|14-Aug-2013||South Korea 0 - Peru 0||FR|
|10||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|
|-||A. Saco Vértiz||Defender|
|7||Josepmir Ballón Villacorta||Midfielder|
|7||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|-||Enzo Nicolás Pérez|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed