World Cup qualifying is beginning to come to a close, as countries are punching their tickets to Qatar. South America and Asia will have the chance to send a fifth team in 2022 - either Peru or Australia.
South America has four teams qualified for the World Cup: Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay. The top 4 nations qualified for the World Cup, with the fifth team headed to an intercontinental playoff, which became Peru.
In November, Asia is sending IR Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan to Qatar. The top two teams in each group qualify, with the third-place teams (Australia and UAE) having to play each other in a playoff game. Australia won the grueling match 2-1 and now has to face Peru to go to the World Cup.
Let’s look at my predictions and best bets on who will be playing in the World Cup and who will be watching it from home.
Peru vs. Australia World Cup Qualifier Odds
- 3-way handicap: Australia (+350) - Draw (+210) - Peru (-140)
- 2-way handicap: Australia +0.5 (+100) - Peru -0.5 (-130)
- Over/Under: Over 2.5 (+140) - Under 2.5 (-180)
Peru vs Australia World Cup Qualifier Pick
Australia had a tough test last week, beating UAE 2-1 to get to this intercontinental playoff. It was a tight defensive battle in the first half, with Socceroos netminder Mathew Ryan making a pair of saves.
The goals came in the second half when Jackson Irvine opened up the scoring with a beautiful pass from Martin Boyle. The Australia defense broke down, letting a goal in just minutes after. However, the team persisted, and UAE lost steam as Ajdin Hrustic buried the game-winner from a deflection.
Peru brings a much different test for Australia. Though they’ve struggled to score in their qualifying matches (19 goals in 18 matches), Peru is a more formidable defensive team. Before the 2021 Copa América, they allowed 14 goals. Since then, they’ve only allowed eight.
These two countries have only met once, which was in the 2018 World Cup, where Peru beat Australia 2-0 in the final game of the group stage. However, neither team advanced to the knockout stage.
Before 2018, Peru hasn’t made it to the World Cup since 1982. The country has only taken part in five World Cups. Australia has only taken part in five World Cups but has made four straight appearances.
Peru vs. Australia Prediction
Peru 3, Australia 2
Australia has the advantage of having already played a game in the Qatar heat, but that won’t be good enough against this Peru squad.
Peru has taken steps forward since their last matchup in 2018, while Australia has taken steps backward. The Socceroos played exceptionally well in the final 30 minutes of their match against UAE, but they won’t be able to keep that intensity for a full 90 minutes. Peru will capitalize on their mistakes.
Peru vs. Australia Key Players
Gianluca Lapadula, Peru
Gianluca Lapadula has been a vital member of this Peru squad. Originally born in Italy, Lapadula played for the national team in a few friendlies. However, Lapadula realized he wouldn’t see much action playing for his home country, so thanks to his mother’s birthplace, Lapadula is eligible to play for Peru.
Lapadula has seven goals in 21 caps for Peru, having scored in two straight matches. He has been vital in Peru getting to this point and will continue to do so.
Mathew Ryan, Australia
Mathew Ryan has been critical in Australia’s success. The captain has 11 wins and nine clean sheets in 17 qualifying matches.
Ryan came up big against UAE, making three saves, with a few coming at point-blank range. Australia’s defense fell apart, leading to the one goal by UAE, but other than that, he was brilliant in net.
Peru vs. Australia Best Bets
Over 2.5 Total Goals (+140) at Caesars Sportsbook
With a ticket to the World Cup on the line, the intensity will be on for this match. Australia has the advantage of recently playing in a high-stakes match, while Peru hasn’t had a qualifying match since March.
The defense will be stingy on both sides, but once the scoring begins, it will open up the floodgates.
1st Half Under 0.5 Goals (+140) at Caesars Sportsbook
I have the Over on goals, but we won’t see scoring until the second half. The same thing happened in Australia’s match with UAE, where the first half was all defense, and the second half was all offense.
Peru recently beat New Zealand in a Friendly, so the rust is off for them. However, the Qatar heat will play a part in the second half being high scoring.
Both Teams to Score (+105) at Caesars Sportsbook
This is a win-or-go-home situation, and neither team wants to be shut out. Both sides will pull out all the stops to win this match. Once the first goal is scored, the other side will bring it on offense to equalize it, which they inevitably will.