Peru vs Denmark
Peru has been a nation on the rise in recent years. It seems time has come to prove themselves on the big scene. It is their first World Cup appearance since 1982. The passion is enormous among the supporters and the players can feel it.
The Argentinian coach, Ricardo Gareca, prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation, led by Jefferson Farfán and Paolo Guerrero, with André Carrillo on the wing. Central midfield consists of Yoshimar Yotún and Renato Tapia who are both comfortable in possession. Wingback Luis Advíncula might be the fastest defender in the entire World Cup and isn't shy to join attacks.
What is worth to mention, is Peru's undefeated streak of 15 matches in all competitions. It includes victories against Croatia, Uruguay, Scotland & Iceland. Also, draws against Argentina, Colombia, and Sweden. Overall, a solid performing team who doesn't give away anything for free. They have played with a competitive spirit throughout their pre-matches. They remain an underestimated team for many people out there.
Denmark is more familiar thanks to their elite players who we see every week in the bigger leagues. Tottenham's Christian Eriksen is exceptional and will be able to harm anybody on a good day. The trickery is provided by Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto. He can attract big clubs interest in case of a successful tournament.
Coach Aage Hareide is a determined man. He showed this in Malmo when organizing them so well. Malmo became the first Swedish team to play in Champions League in recent years. Organization wise, he has done the same thing in Denmark. The Danes have landed in Russia with a clean sheet in 4 consecutive matches. 1-0 Panama, 0-0 Chile, 0-0 Sweden & 2-0 win against Mexico. The typical Nordic style is always difficult to break down.
I don't see Denmark being the team that puts an official end to Peru's undefeated streak. It will be nerves involved on both sides. I give Peru the slight edge due to their upper hand in pace and individual brilliance. South American teams are stronger than most think, even if they aren't named Brazil or Argentina.
A normal group opening game is filled with fear to lose. Expect a game similar to a chess party. Tactics come first. My bet is on Peru not to lose and maintain their long undefeated run.