Peru v New Zealand: Nervy second leg as World Cup awaits winner of play-off

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JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images
Having demonstrated their defensive prowess in the first leg, Al Hain-Cole is backing the All Whites to frustrate Gareca's men once again in Lima

Peru and New Zealand will compete for the final place at World Cup 2018 when they come face-to-face at the Estadio Nacional de Lima on Wednesday.

After holding out for a 0-0 draw in the away leg, La Blanquirroja are 1/5 (1.20) favourites with bet365 to qualify for their first World Cup since 1982 by coming out on top in front of their own fans.

Having lost seven and won none of their last nine previous fixtures against teams from outside Oceania, Anthony Hudson’s men are 16/1 (17.00) outsiders to pull off a shock win in South America.

Anthony Hudson New Zealand 06212017

The draw in Wellington was a third in succession for the hosts, and you can get odds of 5/1 (6.00) on them being held to yet another stalemate here and taking the match into extra time.

While they may be underdogs, the All Whites boast more recent World Cup experience than their opponents, having taken part in 2010 in South Africa when they did themselves more than justice by being the only unbeaten side after drawing all three group matches against Slovakia, Italy and Paraguay.

That success was built on a strong defensive base, with the team led by Ricky Herbert conceding only twice in those three fixtures – albeit scoring just twice at the other end of the pitch.

Peru New Zealand graphic

Although only a few of those players remain in the current squad, that same resilient spirit was certainly on display in a tightly fought goalless draw last Friday in a match largely dominated by Ricardo Gareca’s visitors.

Despite their poor recent record against nations from outside their federation, New Zealand have actually only conceded more than twice in one of their last nine fixtures, averaging only 1.4 goals against in the other eight.

With a deadlocked aggregate scoreline to defend, odds of 19/20 (1.95) seem generous on the determined visitors ensuring Peru see under 2.5 goals for their fourth consecutive match.

Under 2.5 goals at 19/20 (1.95) for a 2pt stake with bet365

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