France v Peru

France

France are expected to get the better of Peru and virtually seal their spot in the knockout stage with a win in Ekaterinburg.

Les Bleus just about edged out Australia in their Group C opener with a somewhat fortunate 2-1 win but they will hope to justify their tag as one of the pre-tournament favourites by putting on a better display against the South Americans on Thursday.

Paul Pogba’s deflected goal and a VAR-aided penalty was to thank for the victory over the Socceroos as France laboured in Kazan but boss Didier Deschamps is unlikely to make many changes, if any, to take on Peru.

Cheslea forward Olivier Giroud is pushing for a start after he was involved in the build-up to the winning goal in the opener but may have to settle for a place on the bench again, alongside Nabil Fekir and Thomas Lemar.

Peru’s all-time leading scorer Paolo Guerrero is being tipped to start up front for La Blanquirroja after he began the narrow 1-0 defeat against Denmark on the bench, a game that saw them miss a penalty when Christian Cueva’s strike flew over the bar.

Peru are competing in their first World Cup finals since 1982 but are set to have the lions share of support inside the stadium as they have more than 40,000 fans in Russia cheering them on and they did win the only other meeting between the two sides – a friendly in Paris 36 years ago.

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