It’s one of the most evenly-matched games of the opening round, with the teams just one spot apart in the FIFA World Rankings.
Two things are clear as Group C action kicks off at the World Cup in Russia: France is a huge favourite to advance, and Australia will likely be going home after the group round. But second spot is very much up for grabs – and it could ultimately come down to whoever wins Saturday’s encounter between Peru and Denmark.
World Cup 2018: Peru vs. Denmark Odds and Betting Analysis
Moneyline: Denmark +132
Date: Saturday, June 16, 12 p.m. ET
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
This match would have been much easier to handicap before Peru star Paolo Guerrero saw his drug ban overturned in time for him to compete at the World Cup. Guerrero gives the Peruvian offence a major boost – so much so, in fact, that the South American side should be able to trade goals with a Danish team that has major question marks beyond Christian Eriksen. Peru at +125 for a Draw No Bet – in which a draw results in a refund – is a solid underdog play for World Cup betting.
The teams combined to average 3.4 goals in World Cup qualifying, but that doesn’t necessarly make the over a strong play here. The Peruvians emphasize ball control, while the Danes have a strong midfield but have been getting inconsistent play from their forwards. It’s no surprise, then, that the under-2.5-goal play (-167) is the expected result. Neither team wants to squander the opportunity for points here, so expect a low-scoring affair.
Guerrero, who became his country’s all-time goals leader in a 3-0 friendly rout of Saudi Arabia, is considered the best bet to convert (+196) against Denmark. But with Guerrero expected to draw the toughest defensive assignment, bettors might want to consider rolling with one of Jefferson Farfan (+249) or Raul Ruidiaz (+250) to make good. If Peru can snag an early lead, it can protect it with vigour – putting a Peru/Peru half-time/full-time bet in play at +510.
Eriksen scored a whopping 11 goals between World Cup qualifying and a winner-take-all match with Northern Ireland, and is a tantalizing +265 to find the net against Peru – but he’s going to need some help if the Danes hope to reach the Round of 16. Nicolai Jorgensen carries the team’s best odds of scoring (+193), but had just two of his team’s 20 goals in qualifying; it might be a tall task to ask him to be his team’s biggest offensive threat in the opener.
Peru vs. Denmark Prediction
Peru 1, Denmark 1: This is a game neither team can afford to lose – and there’s a good chance they won’t. Taking the draw at +216 might not be the sexiest play on the board, but given what’s at stake, it’s probably the safest route.