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

Tyler Owen
June 21, 2018

France are unbeaten in their last eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition (W4 D4).

After a 36-year wait to return to the World Cup, Peru's Russian adventure will come to an end with their final group game against Australia next week.

France's forward Kylian Mbappe heads the ball during their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C match against Peru at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 21, 2018.

The chatter following Peru's opening 1-0 loss to Denmark surrounded the new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system and how it awarded Peru a penalty kick during the match. Farfan went close with an acrobatic volley into the side netting but Peru could find no way through.

The result leaves France on six points and Denmark and Australia on four and one respectively after their 1-1 draw earlier in the day. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was one of three opposing captains, along with Australia's Mile Jedinak and Denmark's Simon Kjaer, who signed a letter to Federation Internationale de Football Association supporting the lifting of the ban.

Captain Guerrero, starting after seeing a 14-month drug ban frozen to allow him to play in Russian Federation, could have been Peru's hero but his 87th-minute free kick was easy pickings for Lloris as France settled for a one-goal victory.

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He was joined in a duet by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, a soloist from the Vienna State Opera, who entered the pitch on a firebird, singing Williams' hit song "Angels".

Peru: Gallese (7), Rodriguez (6), Trauco (6), Ramos (6), Advincula (7), Cueva (6), Carrillo (8), Yotun (6), Flores (6), Aquino (7), Guerrero (7).

Peru's midfielder Pedro Aquino (left) and France's midfielder Paul Pogba compete for the ball during their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C match at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 21, 2018.

Griezmann then tried to usher the ball through to Giroud but Gallese was there to claim, and the Atletico Madrid star then set up Lucas Hernandez for a shot that was beaten away.

Peru almost restored matters five minutes into the second half, with Pedro Aquino rattling the post with a powerful strike from distance. But poor finishing kept Peru from taking any points, and La Blanquirroja will be forced to put up its best front against the French to attempt to fight back into contention for Group C. Or can Peru avoid another defeat and upset France?

With Peru's record scorer Guerrero wasting a late free-kick, Didier Deschamps' squad safely held on to secure their place in the knockout stages. Just taps it in the open goal.

- Les Bleus have qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for the sixth time in their last eight appearances - only failing to do so in 2002 and 2010.

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