France to include Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi in starting XI vs Peru

Ruben Hill
June 21, 2018

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said his team will not be bullied by France in their World Cup clash on Thursday, but admitted: "We are not on their level anywhere".

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero - who had initially been banned from the World Cup for a doping violation - was a substitute against Denmark, but could start in Yekaterinburg. "We know how to handle ourselves in this sort of extreme situation".

But no player is more important to Peru than striker Paolo Guerrero, who came off the bench against Denmark.

An Aussie own goal off a Paul Pogba redirected shot saved the French side from an embarrassing start to the World Cup, but the team will need to refocus against Peru.

That will be both frustrating and gratifying for the South American side, but they will know they won't get as many opportunities against France, whose defensive unit is as impressive as the attack.

One of the World Cup favourites, France failed to shine but still recorded a 2-1 win over Australia to open their Group C campaign in Kazan last week.

Peru will nearly certainly need to score to take anything from Thursday's clash, at it seems unlikely they will be able to keep France's menacing forwards at bay.

The manager will change from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 formation for the match, with Kylian Mbappe joining the midfield and Giroud and Antoine Griezmann being paired up front.

"Every time we go to the field, we leave everything on the field". France keep possession for a while before Peru take over. We tried to analyse things together and what we need to improve. "It's going to be a tough match, we all know the quality they have, but we are eleven against eleven", the defender said.

After consecutive defeats against Mexico and South Africa in 2010, France are unbeaten in their last four group stage games in World Cup finals (W3, D1, L0).

France and Peru's only previous encounter was a friendly in April 1982.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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