History in the World Cup
Peru will be making their fifth appearance at a World Cup tournament. They were part of the first ever World Cup in 1930 and then did not make another appearance until Mexico '70 where they made it to the quarter-finals. They would miss out on Germany in 1974 but would make it to the next two World Cups in Argentina (1978) & Spain (1982). Russia 2018 will mark Peru's first appearance at a World Cup in 36 years.
Peru finished 5th in CONMEBOL qualifying, the most competitive regional qualifying division. Even the traditional powerhouses sometimes struggle to make it out - Argentina almost didn't make it. The Peruvians qualified under controversial circumstances at the expense of every hipster's favorite team, Chile.
Going into their last game against Colombia, Peru needed to avoid losing to qualify. An early James Rodriguez goal put their dream in danger until 13 minutes from time, Paulo Gurreiro would foolishly shoot from an indirect free-kick but David Ospina would try to outdo him and parry the ball into his own net - the goal would stand and Peru would go on to intimidate and beat New Zealand to book their spot at the tournament.
Peru have done well at home, they are unbeaten since November 2016 and unbeaten away since October 2016 including games against the likes of Argentina and Brazil.
Manager: Ricardo Gareca
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Caseda, Jose Carvallo
Defenders: Alberto Rodrigues, Christian Ramos, Luis Advincula, Aldo Corzo, Miguel Trauco, Miguel Araujo, Luis Abram, Nilson Loyola, Anderson Santamarina
Midfielders: Yoshmiar Yotun, Critsian Cueva, Paulo Hurtado, Renato Tapia, Edison Flores, Andy Polo, Pedro Acquino, Sergio Pena, Wilder Cartagena
Forwards: Jefferson Farfan, Andre Carillo, Raul Ruidaz
Peru find themselves in an interesting group with teams that are far more balanced than them. They have a fighting spirit in them but they key will be if they can score 2 plus goals on a consistent basis. Their attacking play will revolve around the dribbling ability of Cristian Cueva. The attacking midfielder has 2 assists in 3 appearances for Sao Paulo in 2018 and will be looking to build on that form on the biggest stage of them all.
FIFA : Current - 11
Highest - 10
ELO : Current - 11
Highest - 11
As always, I'm at @sgtsaltnpeppa.